A takeover of the City of Kingsville could be coming in 2021, but not to worry – this is one the city is seeking.
HGTV announced earlier this year that it would be offering a new series that builds upon its well-known "Home Town" show. That series, hosted by couple Ben and Erin Napier, kicked off its fourth season on Jan. 20 and follows the pair as they renovate homes in their hometown of Laurel, Miss.
The new show – “Home Town Takeover” – will put things on a much bigger scale, with HGTV putting out a call to towns with populations under 40,000 for a massive makeover. Cities from across the nation have applied for the chance to have their downtowns and communities improved as part of the new show, which will air in 2021.
The City of Kingsville entered their own eight-minute video for “Home Town Takeover” that began making the rounds on social media this weekend.
“Well, I noticed an opportunity to help the city and decided it was something we could do,” Kingsville Tourism Director Janine Reyes said in an interview on Monday. “I spoke with a few people and we began to put together a package to send to the show.”
Reyes said the submission could have been sent in with a written excerpt of the plans to improve downtown, along with 10 photographs or a video.
“We gathered everything we could that made Kingsville look like the place the show could really make an impact on,” Reyes said. “Of course we needed to provide the foundation for them to work with, and hopefully our effort was enough to convince them to come to Kingsville.”
In the video, which was submitted, Reyes discusses the different aspects of Kingsville’s history and unique possibilities offered by buildings in need of renovation. City Manager Mark McLaughlin also makes an appearance in the video.
“We know we’re the perfect match for Erin and Ben Napier’s Home Town Takeover and we’re ready to invite the entire crew and viewers right here to our special city,” Reyes said in the video. The video touches on Kingsville’s establishment on July 4, 1904, it being the home of the renowned King Ranch, as well as the growth that led to the establishment of Naval Air Station-Kingsville and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Portions of the video also touch on planned renovations from private developers to downtown buildings that could spur business growth in hopes of revitalizing the area.
For instance, David Thibodeaux – owner of The Salazar Building’s event space at Richard and Sixth streets – has plans to convert an existing building at the corner of Eight Street and Kleberg Avenue into a wine bar downtown, as well as additional retail space.
Nick Harrell III, owner of Harrel’s Pharmacy, has space above his business that was used as a pool hall that he would like to convert into loft apartments, the video states. Renowned artist Santa Barraza is also planning to renovate an old home into an art gallery with space for artists to compose their pieces.
“Really, the community is what keeps us going and wanting to do new projects here,” Thibodeaux said in the video.
It’s unclear when the winning community will be notified if it is selected, but the deadline for entries was Feb. 7. The six-episode series will allow viewers to see the rehabilitation of individual homes, as well as public spaces, like parks, local diners or restaurants, and outdoor recreation areas, according to HGTV’s website.
“This is a big one,” Erin Napier said in a statement on Jan. 7. “HGTV has never, ever taken on a whole-town renovation and restoration project, and we’re so proud and excited to be leading the team that will get it done.”
Reporter Frank Cardenas contributed to this story.