Downtown Update: 2019 Perception Survey - Marina Arts District in Corpus Christi, TX

Apr 4, 2019

By: Alexandra Scott & Jordan Michael

The Corpus Christi Downtown Management District recently conducted a perception survey to understand the downtown customer and non-customer and how they utilize downtown. The goal of the survey was to test downtown programs and new initiatives and compare them to results from 2017.

Of the 250 completed surveys by residents of Nueces and San Patricio counties, a remarkable 90% had been to Downtown Corpus Christi in the last six months of 2018. This is greater than the 73% recorded in 2017 and the National Downtown Benchmark report published by Gentleman McCarty in 2010, which showed that 73% of residents living in the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas frequent their downtowns.

When asked the reason for visiting downtown, eating a meal was the most common answer, rising to 77% from 53% in 2017. Other most-mentioned downtown activities included going to a bar/night club, going to the Marina and visiting cultural centers.

Something that has been missing in Downtown for awhile is shopping and we’ve heard it from both Corpus Christi residents and visitors.  And they’re right, it’s definitely needed and luckily it’s happening!  43% of survey takers said that they came downtown to shop – which is up from 21% in 2017.  This can be attributed to pop-up markets like Loca for Local and Women’s Entrepreneurial Society.  Shout-out to female entrepreneurs!

The largest demographic to frequent downtown was younger families with children who believe that Corpus Christi’s greatest strength is its convenience. Two-thirds agree that it is convenient to drive and get around downtown, which is also higher that the National Downtown Benchmark.

Safety is always important where ever you go and 47% of Downtown users said that they do feel safe in the area. That’s a good number, but we want to increase that closer to the Texas benchmark of 67%.  Recently, cameras were installed to help increase safety and additional lighting will be added as part of Bond 2018.

The survey asked respondents their thoughts on a few programs the DMD has been toying with.  Improving the seawall was vital for users of all ages.  It’s fortuitous that the seawall subject is so popular, because this April, the DMD is participating in a workshop with the Type A Board and City Council where a program for seawall maintenance will be discussed. 

Only 2% of survey takers actually lived downtown, however, downtown living is gaining popularity. 20% of those surveyed (and 33% of Millenials) said that would consider moving downtown, which is up from 10% in 2017. 

So what’s next? More restaurants? More residents?

Stay tuned, Corpus Christi

Downtown Perception Survey Presentation

2019 Downtown Perception Survey – Full Report