Cogressman Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) along with U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Director Pedro Garza announced a $1.2 million grant for the acqusition of the Yacht Club Hotel in Port Isabel. The announcement came Wednesday Oct. 8.
The Yacht Club Hotel on North Yuttria St. is the future site of the Culinary Arts Institute of Port Isabel.
According to a press release issued by the office of Congressman Vela, “The EDA grant will support the re-purposing of the Yacht Club Hotel and restore the landmark to its original state. The institute is expected to create new jobs to serve the students and will include a fully-functioning restaurant and kitchen. The City plans to utilize its unique history and heritage to promote tourism to the area”.
Port Isabel Mayor Joe E. Vega said, “I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration for providing the funding opportunity to the City of Port Isabel for the purchase and restoration of the historic Port Isabel Yacht Club Hotel,” adding, “Not only will this historical building be restored, the building will be converted into a Culinary Arts Institute with a boutique hotel for visiting chefs.”
According to Vega, the restoration of the Yacht Club will allow additional economic opportunities “by providing incubator space for upcoming businesses and a museum to showcase the Yacht Club’s history.”
He said the project will “improve the quality of life for our citizens and is a great example of preserving the past for our future.” The mayor added, “I would also like to recognize and give special thanks to Pedro Garza, Regional EDA Director and Congressman Filemon Vela for all the support provided on this project.”
Last week, the City commission voted to have STAR Consulting & Associates to aid in the building’s restoration.

Jacob Lopez