Ad Spot

Nederland EDC approved to move forward with Boston Avenue purchase, renovation project

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Economic Development Corporation received contested approval to continue with plans to spend $230,000 to acquire locations at 1215 and 1217 Boston Avenue.

Nederland EDC Executive Director Kay DeCuir said the goal is to buy the property, renovate the location including adding a divider wall between the addresses, lease the locations to two already-interested parties for two years and eventually sell the buildings to the tenants.

DeCuir told Nederland City Council members she could not divulge the names of the potential tenants — which were described as existing businesses — so as not to interfere with or jeopardize current rent agreements.

Mayor Don Albanese and council members Billy Neal, Emmett Hollier and Sylvia Root voted for the project. Councilman Talmadge Austin, who represents Ward 1, voted against the project.

During the voting process, Austin first indicated his desire to abstain from voting. When Austin was told he was required to participate if he did not have a financial interest in the property, the councilman replied, “Ok, then I’m going to vote nay.”

Following the meeting, Austin told Port Arthur Newsmedia, “I feel like that particular property on Boston would be worth a lot more to some of the other business owners on Boston Avenue.”

During discussion prior to the vote, Austin questioned how the EDC was going to know how much to spend on renovations.

DeCuir said inspections, previously scheduled last week and canceled because of the freeze, would take place today (Feb. 23).

An appraisal will follow.

“We can pay over appraised value,” DeCuir said. “That is an issue with my board members. If the appraisal comes in less or the appraisal comes in more, they can decide to go forward.”

DeCuir said excessive spending is not the EDC’s goal, noting the agreed upon sale price, which comes to $57.50 a square foot, is “cheap on Boston Avenue.”

“We still have businesses that can’t get here that want to get here coming from sister cities on the other side,” she said.

Councilman Emmett Hollier said from a city perspective, “I would be very cautious of paying way over appraisal from a taxpayer (standpoint).”

Officials said the locations, which are owned by Roberto Maraist, have sat closed for more than two years after previously being utilized as a fish and aquarium store.

DeCuir said the project leads to job creation and more tax revenue for the city.

DeCuir told the city council the EDC is actively seeking to remove eyesores from Nederland, clean them up and get them ready as either green space (like the Villa Motel) or retail ready (like the Boston Avenue project) for private businesses.

For additional coverage, read https://www.panews.com/2021/02/10/city-council-discusses-merits-of-nederland-edcs-230k-boston-avenue-purchase-plan/

BREAKING NEWS

School districts in Port Arthur, Mid-County react to governor’s mask update

Local

Judge Branick gives update following Gov. Abbott lifting mask mandate, plans to opens state

Local

SUSPECT LINEUP: Human trafficking, prostitution sting took place in Port Arthur

Local

$1K in jewelry stolen from woman at gas station; can you help ID suspects

Local

PAPD asks for help locating 2 people who stole catalytic converters from a local business

Local

See how Port Arthur is expanding efforts to distribute vaccine to those in need

Local

Valero projects to donate $1.5M to United Way in 2021

Groves

Jeff Greenway’s passing felt by many; former constable remembered for genuine approach

Local

Steward Health Care welcomes new OBGYN Dr. Omar Salam to Port Arthur

Local

Port Arthur, Mid-County renters & landlords can apply for state help

Beaumont

NEWS TO KNOW: Interstate 10 will be down a lane Monday night in Beaumont

Local

Woman, man sent to hospital following hotel shooting in Port Arthur

Local

Driver contacts police; Fundraiser launched in honor of local woman killed in auto/pedestrian crash

High School Sports

PNG sophomore achieves home run goal during weekend tournament

Local

Free COVID testing available in Nederland. See the details.

Local

Tribune Poll: Texas voters weigh in on vaccines’ capability; willingness to get COVID-19 shot

Local

Gas demand soars to highest level of pandemic; Texas prices feel impact

Local

UPDATE: Nederland woman killed in hit & run

Education

“We know we cannot teach the same way we taught pre-COVID” – PAISD audit to address educational gaps

Beaumont

9 busted in JSCO sting of human trafficking, prostitution & victimization of underage girls

Columns

STEPHEN HEMELT — Know a military serviceperson from Nederland? Honor them on Boston Avenue

Beaumont

Nervous passenger tips cops off to illegal shrooms

High School Sports

Linebacker Jaice Beck, other Bulldogs earn All-State honors

Local

Police: Woman with kids in car rams vehicle into other woman’s, man’s cars