STEPHEN HEMELT – New fast food development working to make an appearance in the Netherlands – Port Arthur News
No one was checking in at Villa Motel in their final months on Nederland Avenue, but hungry motorists could check out what’s next to the Nederland location near the Twin City Highway intersection.
Checkers is in its due diligence and design phase with plans to build a burger and drink a drive-through at the site.
Everything is going well so far, say city leaders Port Arthur Newsmedia, which is great news for those who were fed up with the horror the motel had become.
However, new build isn’t imminent as the developers of Checkers have until 2022 to pave the way, so there won’t be anything visible for a few months.
A local engineering company is working with the city of Nederland with the aim of matching the needs of fast food restaurants with current zoning requirements.
Both parties are tackling right-of-way issues at the rear of the property.
City officials say such processes are common and difficult when it comes to site redevelopment.
The building codes of years ago are not the same as the building codes of today.
Withdrawal requirements are changing. Parking requirements are updated. Drainage requirements are updated.
The challenge of redevelopment is to meet the current standard not met by the previous landowner.
However, those who spoke to Port Arthur Newsmedia this week said all parties are committed and confident in finding solutions to address these issues.
Any new construction will be a welcome sight for local residents and motorists who have long passed the motel structure, which had become the home of vagrants and asbestos.
At a city council meeting in April immediately after its destruction, several elected officials thanked the Nederland Economic Development Corporation for its efforts to purchase and level the dilapidated structure.
The Nederland Economic Development Corporation purchased the building and land on which it stands for $ 300,000 in 2020 from ZBC Realty Specialists Trust and received City Council approval to spend an additional $ 31,858 with Salenga Construction for demolition .
Another $ 12,875 has been approved for asbestos abatement via Inland Environmental.
Executive Director Kay DeCuir said EDC is not looking to make a profit by selling the location, but simply to recoup funds already spent while promoting economic growth in the Netherlands.
The location at 1132 Nederland Ave. is 0.32 acre, or 14,000 square feet, and is zoned commercial, which means apartments or duplexes are not development options.
Port Arthur Newsmedia attempted to contact EDC at the end of the week for further details on the sale price, but DeCuir was out of the office for the scheduled vacation.
Councilor Emmett Hollier, who represents Ward 3 in the Netherlands, previously questioned the over $ 340,000 taxpayer-funded spending made by EDC and approved by Council.
“I only question it because I questioned it at the very beginning with the original price,” Hollier said in March. “We are already climbing higher and higher. That’s what concerns me: our taxpayer’s money on any property the city or EDC buys. Are we going to be able to break even? “
DeCuir told council members that wouldn’t be a problem, noting that three buyers had already expressed interest in the location by that time.
Stephen Hemelt is president of Port Arthur Newsmedia, which publishes The Port Arthur News and panews.com. He can be reached at 409-721-2445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.