Seeing the positives: Jack Brooks to undergo commercial development

Published 12:13 am Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Jack Brooks Regional Airport will begin to undergo some new commercial developments in the next several years.

The County Commissioners Court received and filed a commercial development land lease agreement with developer Henry LaBrie, Jefferson County and Mid-County Plaza, LLC, in the weekly meeting held Monday at the county courthouse.

Alex Rupp, airport director, said the development would be more of an industrial building with office and retail space.

“It’s going to be what you call an office warehouse complex,” he said. “There will be a couple of buildings. There will be an office in the front, a warehouse and storage in the back with the potential to increase the yard size to lay down our equipment. Among other things.”

Rupp said Jefferson County and the cities of Port Arthur and Nederland should expect to see a lot of positives from the future development.

“You’ll have new buildings to rent,” he said. “It’ll add new businesses to the area. Obviously, there will be some investments made on the airport property, which is also the county property. So, there’s added traffic to the airport and more visibility.”

Brent Weaver, Precinct 4, clarified in the meeting that the financial risk of the developed land falls on LaBrie, not the county, despite its location on county-owned property.

“I’m actually very happy that we have someone who is willing to step up and do something out there and make something happen,” he said. “Not to mention they are local. I just wanted to make the point clear that the county is not assuming any financial risk.”

Weaver, with the agreement of the other four commissioners, said he hopes LaBrie will make headway with this new development.

“Hopefully, I think we all hope, that LaBrie is successful out there and can turn it into something nice and beneficial to the county,” he said. “I just wanted to make the financial aspect clear.”

Judge Jeff Branick approved the initial ground lease for the space County Commissioners’ meeting July 1.

For more information on the agreement and phase one, visit the Jefferson County Commissioners Court website at https://co.jefferson.tx.us/comm_crt/commlink.htm.