Durrill Properties Remains at the Forefront of Bringing Exciting Entertainment Ventures to the Coastal Bend
By Rudy Arispe
Corpus Christi developer Bill Durrill knows a good thing when he sees one, and his ability to jump on an entrepreneurial opportunity has benefited the community enormously.
Take, for instance, a piece of property he and his father, the late William “Dusty” Durrill, purchased from Union Pacific in 2000. “At first, we didn’t know what to do with it,” he said. “We couldn’t stand to have dead property, so my dad came up with the concept of an amphitheater because Corpus Christi didn’t have any live music (venues).”
That property acquisition led to the opening in 2001 of Concrete Street Amphitheater, which, according to its website, has become “Corpus Christi’s biggest and baddest outdoor music and festival venue.” Through the years, it has hosted a number of music artists ranging from Billy Idol and Joan Jett, to Godsmack and ZZ Top and just about every other musician in between.
Later, Durrill purchased a 1930s warehouse near the Corpus Christi Hooks Whataburger Field and transformed that property into Brewster Street Ice House, a popular sports bar that also serves as a live music venue. Brewster Street fans also enjoy the venue’s award-winning fare, including its “Best of the Best” fish tacos and famous chicken fried steak, among other Texas cuisine. Parents also enjoy the kids’ playground.
“I would say we hit a very diverse market and provide an entertainment source that was sorely lacking in the community,” Durrill said of Brewster Street Ice House, adding that it offers live music three to four times a week. “We have offered everything from rap, to Texas country and hard rock. We invite you to come see us.”
Now, in another exciting business venture, Durrill Properties is joining forces with the City of Corpus Christi in a public-private partnership via the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History in which Durrill Properties will help manage the museum.
The Durrill family are big believers in giving back to the community, which is why they founded the Devary Durrill Foundation, named after Bill’s sister, who was killed in a car accident in 1978. Funds from the foundation support area charitable endeavors.
“We were awarded a certain amount of money (from my sister’s death), and we use that money to do capital improvement and beautification projects around the city,” Durrill said. “We also try to do things to help other nonprofits by improving their properties for them to pay their bills.”
Currently, Durrill is excited about the potential business opportunities at hand because of the flourishing economic development related to the oil and gas industry happening around the city. “TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) is in the process of building a new harbor bridge,” he said. “The present harbor bridge will be under the new harbor bridge, which will be a signature for Texas and the nation as one of the longest, cable strong bridges in the U.S. It will give us opportunities for properties we own in the area.”
Durrill Properties is also the force behind Hurricane Alley Water Park, which offers fun and attractions for the entire family. But all these ventures would not be possible without the vision that Durrill and his father had years ago.
“My father and I began developing properties since the mid ‘90s,” Durrill said. “I wanted to work with my dad ever since graduation. Then we started getting into venues beginning with Concrete Street, Brewster Street and Hurricane Alley. We are so grateful to our customers and the people of Corpus Christi. We built all of this for them.”