FLOYD BATISTE — Imagine Port Arthur is becoming a fruitful reality

Published 12:12 am Friday, May 8, 2020

Imagine Port Arthur, the result of a community’s vision that is developed through input from residents, business professionals, community stakeholders, EDC Board and staff, City staff and City officials.

It will be the framework from which our future policy, infrastructure and planning decisions will be made to providing the path to a better quality of life with sustainable, efficient and quality development for our community.

Floyd Batiste

Imagine Port Arthur is identifying ways to maximize our City’s strengths, Port Arthur’s strong economy, exemplary education system and public safety initiatives that are consistently recognized.

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Vibrant neighborhoods and a parks system also contribute to the overall quality of life of citizens, while an individual’s sense of place is enhanced by the unique history and cultural diversity of our community.

It is not only business and residential development that will benefit from our plan, but also future generations and residents of Port Arthur.

Imagine a Port Arthur aspiring to reinvigorate the local business climate with educational opportunities, quality businesses and vibrant neighborhoods. Imagine Port Arthur will provide policymakers, business leaders, developers and residents the vision and tools needed to make this happen — a plan that will provide direction to ensure Port Arthur remains attractive and resilient into the future.

In response to Imagine Port Arthur, the City and EDC recently completed its Downtown Revitalization Plan in 2016. This plan established the vision for the City’s downtown by creating an action plan and recommendations aimed at revitalizing and attracting new development to Port Arthur.

The City’s Comprehensive Plan will build upon the actions and recommendations made in the Downtown Revitalization Plan and incorporate recommendations for the entire City and other targeted areas.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say thanks to the following community leaders from Imagine Port Arthur 10 years ago: EDC Board of Directors pass and present; City of Port Arthur City Council; Mr. Larry Kelley, director of the Port of Port Arthur; Dr. Mark Portiere, superintendent of PAISD; Dr. Betty Reynard, president of Lamar State College Port Arthur; Motiva; and very special thanks to our current Port Arthur city manager, Mr. Ronald Burton, for creating and working tirelessly to implement the vision.

Who would have imagined Port Arthur Downtown with the following investments that we currently have and are in the process today:

  1. Rehab of the Pavilion
  2. EDC Building, 501 Procter
  3. Lamar State College student housing
  4. People Park – Water Park
  5. 40 New Downtown Housing Development Neighborhood
  6. Community Development Center
  7. Sheila Umphrey Building – Lamar State College Port Arthur
  8. Port of Port Arthur port expansion
  9. Rehab of the old Port Arthur News building – Center for Community and Business Development (The Press Building)
  10. Downtown Motiva Campus, which includes several Historical Buildings being rehabbed
  11. 118 Townhome Apartment Units on 4th Street
  12. Rehab of the Armory Building – State of the Art Industrial Training Center – Lamar State College Port Arthur.

The above is the beginning. Can you Imagine Port Arthur Downtown 10 years from now?

Floyd Batiste is CEO of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation. He can be reached at fbatiste@paedc.org.