Kingsville Record Article by JT Strasner
Feb 15, 2024
A portion of Kingsville lacking in aesthetics could benefit from revitalization, following Monday’s meeting of the Kingsville City Commissioners.
A Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) will be applied in relation to the Plato School project, to be known as Kings Plaza, the brainchild of developer James Maddalone and the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce.
Channel 6 News Article written by Makaylah Chavez
Posted at 8:42 AM, Dec 21, 2023
and last updated 5:49 PM, Jan 16, 2024
Update: The picture above shows the spaces that are available at King's Plaza. Ideal candidates to fill those spaces would be business owners of Asian cuisine/ Pho restaurants, bar and grill, office space, fitness, boutique, small arcade/ entertainment shops. King's Plaza will not accept vape or CBD shops.
Those interested can email email@example.com for full information on pricing and square feet available. You can also text or call 361-694-3917.
What many knew as the old Flato Elementary School and what others only knew as an abandoned building sitting on a quiet road is now being repurposed into King's Plaza."What does that look like? We're going to have a play, work, eat kind of atmosphere. We'll have restaurants here, coffee, sitting, and relaxation mode. We've got pickleball, sports, courts, beach volleyball, basketball and a very large turf field for football and soccer, a stage..." Developer James Maddalone said.
Maddalone and his wife Megan are the developers of the London Square Plaza. They received positive feedback from that project, and they were asked to look into the City of Kingsville for their next one.
"With that mindset, we're wanting to do really well, but it's based on what the community is telling us. So we find out what they want and we go out and find that business and launch them in. We first spoke with the Center of Economic Development, then the Mayor, then Texas A&M University-Kingsville. When we looked at this particular site we knew it would be perfect for the vision that we had," Maddalone said.
The idea for King's Plaza is to bring the community a central place to spend time together while keeping history. Maddalone wanted to keep the beautiful architecture of Flato and keep memories of the building alive in the hallways inside once opened.
"I’m a dad of five, they’re all grown but we love a place where we can go and just enjoy the family atmosphere. That's what I want for the people here," Maddalone said.
The news of the new development broke a little over a week ago and Kingsville locals are already feeling the excitement for more reasons than one.
"I heard about it at the gas station and from my mom who's excited about pickleball. I mean, the location is going to be great. It’s right by the college, that should help quite a bit. There’s not much on this side of town. It’s the big talk of the town right now. This place is already looking better, they’ve done quite a bit of work because it was an eyesore," Kingsville local Tex Neal said.
When Neal's daughter Viola heard about the new development being worked on right down the street from her house, one thing caught her attention.
"Beach volleyball? There’s a place called Whitecap Beach over there somewhere. I am excited for that because it's new things, we get to experience new things," second grader Viola Neal said.
The plaza is already halfway occupied. Some businesses that gave the for sure are Coffee Waves and an urgent care facility. But Maddalone is looking for more locals with more ideas to bring a bigger, more collective vision to life.
"Come on. Who else wants to get in the game in Kingsville? It’s a healthy level of competition but it creates a level of standard. Bring something here that’s not here that we know will do well," Maddalone said.
And with the university, King Ranch, Naval Air Station, and incoming Direct Air Capture Facility, developers have all the right ingredients to keep Kingsville entertainment, dollars, and residents in town.
"I love it when people tell me it will never happen. Me and my family, we’ll make it happen if you’ll back it up. Kingsville is now. It's not ten years ago, it's now. You guys have waited long enough in my opinion," Maddalone said.
Maddalone said King's Plaza will be open to the public by early 2025. If interested in joining your business, contact them on Facebook at King's Plaza or on maddalonedevelopment.com.
Channel 3 News by Madeline Salin
Published: 10:58 PM CST December 16, 2023
Updated: 10:58 PM CST December 16, 2023
Developer and owner of Maddalone Developments, James Maddalone has some big plans for the old Flato school building in Kingsville.
"There's a number of things of things that we can do here that we want to bring. Kingsville is excited, and so we're excited to partner with the community," Maddalone said. "Our family, we're locals. We are local people here that believe in South Texas. It's a great time to be doing business in South Texas and to building new things in South Texas."
The space where the Flato Elementary school once stood will soon become Kings Plaza. Maddalone says it will include restaurants, a coffee shop, outdoor stage, turf field, pickleball courts, beach volleyball and more. The developer has even received letters of intent from urgent care clinics.
Maddalone and his wife, Megan, are the same people that developed the London Square Plaza. He says what they learned from developing that property only inspired them to pursue more projects that bring people together. After the seeing the success of London Square Plaza, with encouragement from one of Maddalone's business associates, he began reaching out to different cities around the South Texas. Within a month, he had four different cities showing their interest in the plaza.
"We had mayors. We had city managers. We had centers for economic development. They came and visited the London Square Plaza and they said, 'Will you come to our town and do this?' In that, we then visited Kingsville," he said.
"We said, 'You know what? It's 30 minutes down the road. There are some great things happening here with the carbon plant. You've got Tesla up the street. It's just the beginning. This fits extremely well with what's good that happening and what's more to come," he said.
Kings Plaza is set to open in 2025, so there's still some time until we see it completed. Right now, the project is in its preliminary stages of cleaning and securing the old school building. Maddalone says he's excited for what's to come and ready to see what the plaza does for Kingsville.
"There's a lot of people that truly have been waiting and waiting and waiting for something like this to come to Kingsville, but this is the first, and so we're willing to take that risk, and it is a risk. But we're looking for the right business people to join us in this venture. We can't run and operate all these shops, but we want people to come and put their flag up and put their investment in as well," he said.
Kingsville Record Article written by By JT Strasner Editor
Dec 14, 2023
Developer James Maddalone details plans for the Flato Building in Kingsville from inside the old school. Maddalone’s company plans to renovate the historic structure into Kings Plaza, which will feature a courtyard and up to 14 new businesses. (Photo by JT Strasner)
The same halls where rocker Jim Morrison, Mayor Sam Fugate and countless others once roamed as students will soon be filled with shoppers and diners at Kingsville’s latest planned development.
With the idea of a work, live, play concept, developer James Maddalone has big plans for the former Flato school building, to be re-imagined as a home to 12-14 businesses, as well as an open-air courtyard.
Channel 3 News by Simoné Simpson
Published: 7:10 PM CDT March 18, 2023
Updated: 7:10 PM CDT March 18, 2023
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Corpus Christi is expanding resources and utilities to the London area. 141 acres of land in London will be developed into a subdivision within the next ten years. The project will undergo development that includes hundreds of homes and infrastructure improvements.
Councilmember of district 3, Roland Barrera spoke with 3NEWS and said, this is a great opportunity to expand resources and utilities to those who live in London.
"Underground utilities, they wouldn't require a septic system, they would have sidewalks, have streets that would be maintained, in addition they would have garbage pickup," Barrera said.
However, residents like James Maddalone wants the city to consider the voices of the people who live within Nueces county, which includes those who live in the London area.
"I think most residents want to know is as we start to pay our taxes in, what do we receive in return? There should be an exchange and a healthy exchange for fees of service."
Maddalone wants an open dialogue with the city of Corpus Christi. He told 3NEWS, "I'm certain that they would have plans to put in a fire station and a police station, right? And I think that would need to be said, sooner than later. If we have thousands of homes being built out here, how far is the closest fire station, and police station?"
Barrera explained, "So those taxes go to public safety, police and fire, once again, access to the ambulance service. Which typically the ambulance service would go to an emergency service district."
With this being the third recent development in the London area, Maddalone is concerned about London's identity being lost.
"We want to maintain the London community feel."
Which Maddalone describes as a suburb.
"People that have chosen to live out here such as my family and I, is that we wanted to be outside of the city, but close to the city, we wanted more of that country feel."
One large selling point for the annexation of the London area is its schools.
"All those homes and all those developments will be able to bring more tax dollars to the school district, and so that puts more money into the system for them," Barrera said.
Maddalone explained, "Our concern is that as the city is annexing new areas out here, it's taxing the school, it's making the school grow much faster than it was ever prepared for."
Channel 3 News by Brandon Schaff
Published: 8:29 PM CDT March 17, 2022
Updated: 8:29 PM CDT March 17, 2022
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The London Square Plaza is now open after less than a year of construction.
The project's developers, James and Megan Maddalone held an opening ceremony to welcome the Coastal Bend. They're excited to see what the shopping center will bring to the London community in Corpus Christi.
"What kind of shows that it was worth it all was seeing all of our shops filled. To see these businesses, open up and believing the best in this community, that they're going to thrive here." James said.
The developers told 3NEWS, there was nothing like the London Square Plaza in the area before it was built. Megan explained, "I'm excited to see the growth and see the community come out and it's really encouraging. It's what we were doing this for and it's very surreal."
The plaza offers space for 10 businesses. Seven of those have already moved in and the rest should be there by next year.
As London expands, Megan hopes the plaza will benefit those who live nearby including her very own family. "I'm just looking to see the community come together. It's very important, this farm kind of land where people don't have to drive everywhere and to see people driving their bikes here and actually have a spot to come for community is important." Megan added.
James told 3NEWS, he hopes the new plaza will open the door for further development in the area and that everyone will visit from around the Coastal Bend.
He shared how Megan and himself felt once the project was complete, "I think one of the greatest moments that I think Meg and I had together a couple weeks ago was just sitting down and enjoying what we built. And just kind of sitting out here in the courtyard on the turf and just taking it in."
The opening ceremony featured speeches, live bands, and the burying of a time capsule they plan to open again in 15 years. To see if for yourself, the plaza is off FM 43 next to London ISD's office.
Channel 3 News by Brandon Schaff
Published: 10:50 PM CST November 26, 2022
Updated: 10:50 PM CST November 26, 2022
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi's London area held a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the new retail plaza project.
Construction for the plaza is currently under way near FM 43. The area has seen huge growth over the years with some 200 to 300 new houses annually.
The plaza is the latest project by PureTree, a renovation company that is tasked with developing the London area. The plaza is owned by the Maddalone family, who moved to Corpus Christi 10 years ago from upstate New York.
According to the James Maddalone, it took a lot of convincing to get funding for the project, but it's the start of the area's transformation.
"Many people won't build in an area that doesn't already have something, but all the numbers show this is the area to build in," Maddalone said. "And so now that we've done this, it opens the floodgate for others to develop as well."
Maddalone added that the area community is seeing economic growth and provides optimal opportunity to expand.
"With a growing community such as we have, this is the next necessary step to bring sustainability for our area to grow," Maddalone said.
Funding for the project will come from the PlainesCapital Bank. Nueces County Commissioner Brent Chesney said that the project was long overdo.
"There has to be these kinds of things because the homes here don't want to drive 20 or 30 minutes into town, or in other parts of town. They want to go here," Chesney said.
He added that development for the streets in the area has been a priority.
"We've made this area real amenable for growth because of the road work that we're doing, because of how business friendly are in Nueces County and I think you're going to see more. This is the first of many to come," Chesney said.