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Old 04-17-2014, 03:26 AM
2 posts, read 5,177 times
Reputation: 10


I would like to thank everyone in advance for producing a response to this post.

My name is Jordan and I currently reside in Wichita, Kansas. The local population in the metropolitan area is approximately 650,000. The economy here is sluggish and is strongly influenced by the large aircraft companies which maintain manufacturing plants that employ thousands. Unfortunately, when there is not a large demand for new planes, hundreds of employees are laid off, which has an immediate impact on the local economy.
Unemployment here is currently at 7.50%, higher than the state average

Over the last month, I have visited Corpus Christi, Texas more than three times! I've also done an immense amount of research on the area. From what I understand, the economy is on overdrive primarily due to the oil boom occurring at the Eagle Ford Shale. Housing is in high demand, which has increased the average rental rate and has encouraged the development of new homes and multi-family units. The unemployment rate is currently at 5.50%, lower than the state average. Retail stores seem to be doing well, with a high likelihood of sustainable success due to these economic conditions.

Here is my dilemma! I have the option to open a retail outlet which sells unique furnishing items. I have selected either Wichita, Kansas or Corpus Christi, Texas as the home for my new business. I'm having a difficult time trying to figure out what location would be best, as I feel they are both decent options for various reasons.

In Wichita, the housing is cheaper (I live in a 1,700 SF home for $800.00 a month), the cost of commercial space is cheaper and I happen to have a business relationship with a local retailer who has sold furnishings for more than forty years and is willing to extend his assistance (but who has also complained of declining sales and a slow economy).

In Corpus Christi, it seems there is a strong economy, a lot of opportunity for a retail outlet which sales unique furnishing items and the added benefit of being near the water/ocean, something I couldn't ever get tired of, as I'm a nature lover.

So, here's my questions:

1. Is the economy really as good as they make it sound? If not, why? If so, why?

2. I've been told by a real estate agent that locating in a shopping center which also houses Time Warner would be a great decision because it draws up to 150 customers a day to the area. Is this a good part of town? If not, why? If so, why?

3. I've read various forum postings which imply Corpus Christi is a dangerous city to live in. I have yet to experience major crime in Wichita, Kansas, I'm sure it is there, I just don't go looking for it. Is this a lot of hype? What areas should be avoided?

4. Is there anything regarding the culture that could impact my business as an owner/operator with little to no employees.

5. In Wichita, it is a bigger city, with likely much more to do, but I've come to the realization that I still fall into the same routine day in and day out. Work, Eat, Relax and Sleep! It appeared to me that Corpus Christi had almost everything Wichita had, in terms of restaurants and shopping destinations (although I would have liked a clustered night life area). The benefit of being near the ocean is a plus to me, but I have to ask, how many locals actually get tired of the ocean, or maybe the word is bored of it? They say Las Vegas isn't exciting anymore once you move there, is that also true of the ocean?

Again, I appreciate your response. Wichita isn't a bad community, but I want to place my business in an area which provides it with the more opportunity to succeed. With that said, I also don't want to uproot my life if there is truly not a significant difference.

Thanks much,

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Old 04-17-2014, 09:50 AM
Location: Rockport Texas from El Paso
2,601 posts, read 7,801,387 times
Reputation: 1594
The only thing the two places have in common is they are in the United States. That's it. Maybe look up Sperlings Best places to compare communities.

Their govt is different , the demographics -ethnicity is different -teh climate is different. What is the same ? Both places have mostly Americans. Many in both pl\aces have a dog. They both have walmart.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:53 AM
15,247 posts, read 17,800,170 times
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At this point, you probably know more about the pro's and con's of Wichita v. Corpus than anyone else. I've never been to Wichita so can't give you a feel for which one is better for your purposes.

Corpus is not a particularly dangerous city to live in. Most of the crime is related to drug trafficking, or occurs late at night when the bars let out. If you're not engaged in that type of activity, you'll be fine.

I don't know if there is anything about the culture that would have an impact on your business. There are some high-end furniture and design stores that have been in business a long time, along with mid-level and crappy places. I'm not sure what you're selling, but you may have competition from Pier One and World Market.

Have you talked to the small business development people at Del Mar (the community college)? They may be able to answer some of your questions about the economy.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:27 PM
Location: Austin, TX
1,376 posts, read 2,790,570 times
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1. Yes. The economy is as strong here as it has ever been. There are new developments all over town, creating 1,000's upon 1,000's of construction jobs. New retail and restaurants to the region are also popping up everywhere. On top of all of this are several oil related developments bringing thousands of more jobs.

2. You must be talking about the shopping center at the intersection of Saratoga/Weber. Yes this is a newer more upscale part of town, with a lot of development.

3. Just like any major city, property crime is high here. The murder rate is average, but is lower than comparable sized cities like Little Rock, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Birmingham, Shreveport, Stockton, and a few others. Basically, if you are not a gang banger or a drug addict, you don't have to worry about crime.

4. Nothing I can think of.

5. Wichita is not much bigger. The city only has 60,000 more people and 200,000 more in the metro. CC has A LOT to do for a city its size. From outdoor activities, nightlife, cultural events, and entertainment, we have it all. Unless its the Caribbean, I am not a beach person, so I don't think I could answer the ocean question for you, unbiasedly. One thing you must remember. CC is within a 7 hour driving range of three of America's top 10 largest cities, (SA - 1 1/2 hrs, Houston - 3 hrs, Dallas - 7 hrs), and 5 of America's top 15 biggest cities, (SA, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin).

It will be a significant difference. It is very different geographically and culturally between the two cities. However, a lot of the amenities may be similar.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:14 AM
2 posts, read 5,177 times
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How many of you folks who respond to questions such as mine actually relocated from another city/state to Corpus Christi? What was your experience like and what convinced you to stay in Corpus Christi?

I am at the point of wanting to pull the trigger and take the risk, however I am a bit worried as I've never moved out of state before, nor have I attempted to start a business immediately after. I'm more concerned with the idea of moving to Corpus Christi, Texas and then wanting to move back to Wichita, Kansas. I do not want to be part of the 37% that move to a different city only to move back, it would be rather embarrassing and I couldn't be assured I would have such a great living arrangement on my return, which is what is making this a bit of a difficult decision (I pay $800.00 for a 1,700 square foot home in a gated community in a nice area of town -- you can't find deals like this in Corpus Christi).

Have any of you had an experience in which you moved out of town and by choice moved back? Why? What was your reasoning. I try to understand both sides of the coin which only complicates the process of making a decision, but at least I can say I've considered all angles and have taken what I believe is a calculated risk through that understanding.

PS. I also have to ask how many of the people who provide responses on this forum are Winter Texans? It is easy for one who migrates three to four months out of the year to provide answers such as "Corpus Christi is great!" etc..., but what concerns me is the answer is not complete, only accounting for a small portion of a 12 month calendar year (if that makes sense)!

Last edited by Jordie0623; 04-20-2014 at 12:37 AM..
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:47 PM
Location: Portland, TX. (next to Corpus Christi)
1,678 posts, read 3,658,650 times
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I moved here from Wichita Falls, Texas, 5 years ago. Best decision I have made since moving to Texas nearly 20 years ago. Lots of economic "boom" occurring here, not just because of Eagle Shale, but also with the Port, having access to CC NAS, Padre Island development, and a huge growth in economic activity from Portland to Ingleside. Corpus may be the best thing happening in Texas at the present time!

Housing will get more expensive, as houses are selling here. In time, it will leverage itself out, but you are correct that housing is, and will stay cheaper in Wichita. Look outside of Corpus in the surrounding areas (Kingsville, Odem, Orange Grove, etc) for cheaper housing more equivilant to what you are looking for in price.

Crime? Yes, there is some crime. But, isn't that the case anywhere? As Marlow pointed out, as long as you stay out of the drug side of things, its nearly non-existant. In Wichita Falls, the gang problem is so bad there, they have "gang injunctions", and the city council has mapped out areas where gangs cannot go. I have yet to see that in the Corpus area.

Hope that helps. Good questions too!
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:18 PM
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I have moved to Corpus Christi to attend graduate school and initially thought I might like to live here, close to the ocean because it's what I do for a living. That was after I turned down an offer to get my degree in Galveston since I visited and it is not my style...way over crowded and touristy.

That being said, I have lived in Las Vegas and Reno growing up and can't remember the last time my parents went to a casino to gamble other than with visitors. Maybe the first year you live there, or if you go to a restaurant in the casino...you might drop a few quarters. But anyone who lives in NV knows that the profit margins are very small in the casino industry and except for the few high rollers...the house is winning.

I've been in Corpus Christi for a year and see no point in staying after my degree. The humidity reminds me of the Midwest, there are tornadoes and hurricanes, and the water is a non-player for me for working, scuba diving, or kayaking. It's ok, but it's not paradise. The water is murky/cloudy on the best days and one can only guess with the nearby refineries what is lurking chemically in the water. I tried scuba diving here but couldn't see anything in front of my face. And with kayaking I met more than my share of jellyfish, puffers, and man-o-wars. My dog doesn't go in the water. Now that's not to say that there aren't some beautiful beaches in both CC and Port A, and along Padre Island. Beaches, not water. I make my living with the ocean, not the beaches.

I'm new, but I see two types of cultural groups here, to make some very basic generalizations. There are some who can afford to live well here due to military/oilfield pay, they have multi-generational links to the area, have lived here when buying a house was cheaper, or they retired to the area. Then the other side seems to be populated by people who get by week to week. They are the hospitality workers, students, landscapers, etc. There's undoubtedly a middle class here that I am not seeing, but that may be due to my limited exposure at the university. I don't get out to the suburban areas outside of town much. And that may be your prime target for business.

What I do see a lot of is people who buy pretty expensive things while they are here (oilfield, military, students) and then just walk away from it when they leave. I'm thinking that retail does a pretty good business here. We have furnished a 2 bedroom apartment with some very nice things almost solely from dumpster diving. Just last week I befriended a solid wood desk with a Pottery Barn label on it, in perfect condition...at the dumpster. The only things we bought new were the beds and a sofa from Craigslist. Honestly, we'll only be here a few years and it blows my mind what people discard here.

Whether or not you'll like it is really up to you and what your needs are. I am looking for a bit more opportunity professionally (and for the ocean, BP oil spill money is beginning to dry up for research) and I would like more to do besides the beaches. We tend to look for cities with museums, developed downtowns with local charm/ retail, and most of all walkability. We like to commute on our bikes. This is the first place I have ever put my bike in storage. It is just not safe to bike in the south area near the university. And Texans are definitely married to their cars. Nothing here is meant to be walkable or bike friendly. I've really liked the people here, very friendly but not necessarily easy to get to know in the beginning.

I'm having a great time while living here but, in my case, it is for a short time of 2 years. If you are planning a move here I would try spending more time here, search out the suburbia with more middle class, hang out at the beach, bookmark the local news stations on your computer and check in regularly, figure out if CC has what resources you need to be happy.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:48 PM
Location: Austin, TX
16,772 posts, read 43,257,229 times
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If you look at the City-Data demographics pages for Corpus and Wichita, Corpus has less violent crime than Wichita, both in actual numers and crime rates per100,000 people.


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