Roving Reporter | "Waterfront Plans Unveiled at Meeting with Downtown Merchants" by Vicki Totten

A boardwalk over the water, walkways with kiosks directing people to different places in town, murals on downtown buildings, and a state of the art marina are just some of the items being envisioned for downtown Rockport. At a June 12 meeting held in the Rockport Beach Pavilion, Malcolm Dieckow shared these ideas and more with a group of 28 downtown merchants interested in hearing about the changes planned as a result of the recent land swap between the Aransas County Navigation District (ACND) and the Bass Brothers. He was speaking both in his role as Chairman of the ACND and as the Economic Development Chair for the Rockport Cultural Arts District (RCAD). According to Dieckow within three to five years people will begin to see some of these positive changes in the downtown area and along the waterfront.

Some of what is envisioned will begin to take shape in the next few weeks as dredging begins in the area near the breakwater at the edge of the current harbor area. The dredging is expected to produce between 100 to 150 cubic yards of sediment. Most of the sediment is already sold, but some of it will be retained by ACND to fill in the low areas and level it out as much as possible. The dredging is expected to take approximately six months. The ACND is hoping to obtain the funding to build a state of the art marina with slips for as many as 42 boats. Before the marina can be built, however, the boardwalk will need to first be completed. The boardwalk will be 10 to 12 ft. wide with a 20' easement. It wasn’t clear what the Bass Brothers will ultimately build, but some of the possibilities mentioned included condominiums, restaurants, and mixed use development.

Dieckow told the group that it will be important for the downtown merchants to work together to help some of these ideas come to fruition. One of the items being proposed includes widening Water Street downtown in order to make it more of a major artery. The RCAD wants to work with groups to plan more events at the beach park and festival grounds, which are currently under utilized. The Cultural Arts District extends to the band shell. One of the upcoming events being planned is to bring the 9/11 Traveling Memorial to Rockport on President’s Day weekend in February. This will be an event somewhat similar to the Vietnam Wall event last year.

In response to a comment from one business owner wanting to see a focus on the birding and fishing which Rockport is known for, Dieckow assured the group that "We don't want to destroy anything, we want to enhance it," adding “We can make it better without destroying what we have.”

Jennifer Day, who is the current President of the RCAD indicated that there will be future public forums and that they are currently working on getting both their website and Facebook page up and running and up to date.


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Vicki and husband, ceramic artist Stan Irvin, are both retired professors who have discovered the joys of living in Rockport. Vicki is also the writer of the column "Boating Adventures."



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