Schlitterbahn is expected to break ground Friday for its new water park resort on Padre Island.
Water park resort officials worked Tuesday to finalize the land purchase and project financing, said Jeff Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn. They are planning Friday to unveil the final look of the project and take questions from the media during a groundbreaking at the Padre Isles Country Clubhouse where the water park resort will be located. The event is not open to the public.
A couple weeks ago, the city granted a grading permit for the project, which allows the project to break ground. However, full construction permissions have not yet been given, according to Mark Van Vleck, director of the city’s development services.
Schlitterbahn had until the end of February to break ground under its $117 million economic development incentive agreement with the city. A bulk of the tax incentives being offered — $78 million — are from hotel occupancy tax revenue within the area of the planned development. That means most of the incentives being offered rely on the performance of the proposed project.
The water park — a $41 million resort planned west of Park Road 22 — tentatively is set to open in March 2014. It is required to be built two years after the project breaks ground, according to terms of the agreement.
Early designs showed the project would include a 65-acre water park with lodging, golf and restaurants. It will be built on the existing Padre Isles Golf Course and tied into a master plan for the area that includes a marina in Lake Padre, an extension of the residential canal system, hotels, condos and single-family homes on about 500 acres of mostly undeveloped land. The master plan for the area is an estimated $552 million in development on Padre Island.
The entire project is expected to take at least 18 years to build under the incentive agreement with the city, which is for 25 years. Developers are responsible for infrastructure maintenance, such as dredging canals and repairing bulk heads.
The development is expected to generate about $259 million in revenue, after incentives, for the city’s taxing districts, including Del Mar College and Flour Bluff ISD.
Investors for the project include local investor Willard Hammonds, developer Paul Schexnailder and the Henry family, owners of Schlitterbahn.
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