PORT ISABEL — It’s gone.
As a large excavator continuously plowed its way through the historic two-story building, neighboring residents watched and had their cell phones at hand to capture the end of its existence.
The Yacht Club Hotel in Port Isabel was demolished yesterday afternoon.
“I was surprised to find out that they were removing the Yacht Club,” said Pamela Clark, who owns property across from the hotel. “We are really irritated that they first of all told everyone that they were going to rehab it.”
Father and son Ernesto and Armando Martinez purchased the Yacht Club Hotel from the city last February.
It’s still unclear what the owners plan to build on the land.
According to the owners, some banks have shown interest in financing their project and they hope to begin building by summer of 2019.
Armando Martinez said his family will release plans for the land to the community in the “near future.”
According to neighbors, the owners held a meeting with them in September.
During the meeting, the owners revealed their plans to tear down the hotel, built in 1926 as the Point Isabel Yacht Club.
According to a statement from Ernesto and Armando Martinez, the building had experienced years of neglect and suffered unrecoverable water damage.
They stated they initially had full intentions to restore the facility to its former glory and allure, but ultimately felt the best use of their funds was to rebuild the entire property.
According to Clark, the owners of the Yacht Club Hotel discussed building a 10-story hotel during the meeting.
Neighboring residents are concerned about future parking plans for the land.
The local residents plan to voice their concerns to city officials at an upcoming public hearing where Armando Martinez and his father Ernesto will request a parking variance for their property.
The Yacht Club Hotel owners submitted an appeal request to the Port Isabel Board of Adjustment and Appeals this month.
They’re requesting a variance to have one and a half unit parking spots per unit rather than two parking spots per unit.
A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 28 to discuss the variance where the board will decide whether or not to consider their request.