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Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa: District 20
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Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2018
Contact: Roxanne de la Garza
(512) 463-0120 office
SENATOR HINOJOSA'S STATEMENT REGARDING THE SALE OF THE 1914 NUECES COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Corpus Christi - Today, Nueces County finalized the sale of the Historic 1914 Nueces Courthouse to Nueces County Courthouse Development Partners, LLC. This brings closure to Nueces County's financial obligation to secure and maintain the structure.

Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:

"Congratulations to Nueces County and the Nueces County Courthouse Development Partners! I am pleased that after years of working with Judge Neal, Commissioner Pusley, and the Texas Historical Commission, we have finally found a solution for the use of the structure. The decision to sell the building, and the buyers agreement to maintain the historic structure, is a win for all. I can't wait for the iconic building to be restored and turned into a beautiful hotel. I wish much success to the new owners."

The Historic Courthouse was built in 1914 and served the county for over sixty years. In 1970, Hurricane Celia caused damage and the masonry veneer began to detach from the building. In 1977, the historic courthouse was left vacant as staff moved to the new courthouse. In 1976, the historic courthouse obtained a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. However, in 1995, the building was listed on the list of "Most Endangered Historic Properties."

After several studies, the building was found to be structurally sound and in 2002, Nueces County was awarded an emergency grant of $1.9 million from the Texas Historical Commission to restore the exterior of the South wing and install a security system. The County also agreed to commit to the building's preservation for another 25 years.

In 2010, Nueces County Commissioner Mike Pusley requested another structural evaluation of the building and hired an engineer to perform the study. After the study, Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal and Commissioner Pusley, pushed for the demolition of the structure. This prompted much discussion and a series of meetings to find a solution that was fair to the taxpayers, but also complied with prior agreements with the Texas Historical Commission to preserve the iconic building.

In December of 2015, Senator Hinojosa organized a meeting in Corpus Christi with Judge Neal, Commissioner Pusley, and Mark Wolfe, Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission and his leadership staff to explore all options available to Nueces County to prevent the demolition of the building. It was made clear at this meeting that having a building sitting idle was not an option. The Texas Historical Commission went to work and presented the County with information to consider such as financial incentives including the federal and state historic preservation tax credit programs

Finally, due to the work of Judge Neal and Commissioner Pusley, an offer was made to purchase the Historic Courthouse. The company has agreed to abide by prior agreements to preserve the structure.

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa served as the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate in the 84th Texas Legislature. Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and serves on the Senate Committees on Natural Resources & Economic Development, Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs and Transportation.

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