In the 1970’s Pier 19 was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and protected by the Galveston City Charter. In later years, Pier 19/20 continued to be a waterfront attraction drawing consumers, commercial fisherman, charter fishing boats, fish houses, a restaurant and the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum.
In the early 1980’s, the waterfront from Pier 19 to Pier 25 was designated by the Port of Galveston as an area to promote tourist development. The Pier 21 area was made available for lease, and two major tenants leased portions of the port property. The Texas Seaport Museum and a berth for the Elissa were leased by the Galveston Historical Foundation. The Woodlands Corporation, also a Mitchell company, was selected to develop Pier 21 to include a small marina, theater, shops, restaurants, and a boutique hotel – Harbor House Hotel and Marina. Phase One of the Pier 21 project was completed in 1994 at a cost of $8.75 million.
The Mitchells are committed to the development of the waterfront for a variety of uses including cruise, shipping and tourist activities. After years of effort by the Port of Galveston and others to attract cruise business to the Island, GPM, Inc., under the direction of then Senior Vice President Bill Ross, spearheaded a drive to find local sources of funding to develop a state-of-the art cruise ship terminal at Pier 25 to encourage consideration by Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines of Galveston Island as a home port.
“Mitchell Historic Properties is a privately owned and operated company based in Galveston Island, Texas and part of Mitchell Family Corporation based in The Woodlands, Texas. Mitchell Historic Properties oversees Galveston properties owned by the Mitchell family. These properties include three hotels, 14 buildings in the historic Strand District and Pier 21 along the harbor.”