PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

November 19, 2013

Negotiations for former Kmart site get green light

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Possible development of the former Super Kmart is one step closer.

On Monday, Groves City Council gave their blessing to negotiate a Chapter 380 economic development agreement with a local developer for the Twin City Highway site.

According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts,  a Chapter 380 agreement authorizes municipalities to offer incentives designed to promote economic development such as commercial and retail projects.

“The city has been contacted by a local developer who is in the process of trying to purchase the property,” Groves City Manager D. Sosa said.

The economic development agreement, if approved, would call for the city and developer to spit sales tax for a set amount of years. Sosa said the developer suggested 15 to 20 years while Mayor Brad Bailey said he would like to see a lesser time limit starting at around 10 years.

Sosa said in a previous interview that the area in which the site is located needs to be incentivized and, if approved, would be a win-win situation for the city.

The developer would also be eligible for incentives from the Groves Economic Development Corporation for projects such as signage and striping the parking lot.

Bailey gave some insight into the project, saying the developer is looking to possibly open a surplus warehouse type retail store.

“This would be huge,” Bailey said when asked what the project would mean to the city.

He feels that if the development occurred then the city would benefit from not only the sales tax but shoppers being drawn to the area and stopping at other establishments as well.

The site has been vacant for a number of years and was most recently used by Bechtal Jacobs Corporation in conjunction with the Motiva expansion. The facility was used as a location to stage materials and locate administration while the project was under way.

Super Kmart closed its doors more than a decade ago, taking with it large amounts of tax dollars.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews