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Renovations Begin on Corpus Christi Montgomery Ward Building

The old Montgomery Ward building at the corner of Chaparral and Peoples streets in downtown Corpus Christi is being renovated into retail and residential space.

An abandoned but historic building in downtown Corpus Christi might be getting a new lease on life. Work has begun on renovating the old Montgomery Ward building at the corner of Chaparral and Peoples streets. Built in 1934, the 22,000-square-foot building has been empty for a little over 40 years.

The building was recently purchased from the city of Corpus Christi for $150,000 by Peoples Street Project, a city-based limited liability corporation. The city has owned the property, which was appraised at $486,254 by the Nueces County Appraisal District in 2015, since 2014. The site includes an adjacent gated parking lot with 36 spaces.

Space in the building could be available for lease as early as the end of this year, according to Bill Hoover, a managing member of Peoples Street Project. The estimated cost to redevelop the building is about $3 million, he told reporters. The company could receive up to $390,000 over 10 years in tax reimbursements from the Downtown Reinvestment Zone.

Current plans include leasing first-floor space for businesses such as a yoga studio, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and retail. The second floor of the three-story building is expected to be set aside for art studios. Eight apartments will take up the third floor.

Hoover is the developer behind the Nueces Loft Apartments, which are next door to the Montgomery Ward building. The building is home to 64 loft apartments, which were completed in 2010. The Nueces building is on the National Register of Historic Places, a status Hoover hopes to achieve for the Montgomery Ward building as well.

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