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Port Arthur EDC awards Korean barbecue restaurant grant, renovation firm at Press Building

The Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation awarded a conditional grant to a company establishing a Korean barbecue restaurant next to Saltgrass Steakhouse on Memorial Boulevard.

Reed Noodle Bar LLC has been granted $138,700 to make infrastructure improvements and add commercial retail space to the property at 7875 Memorial Blvd.

The PAEDC will reimburse Reel Noodle 30 percent of the grant upon completion of the improvements, 35 percent when the company obtains a certificate of occupancy for the first commercial space and the other 35 percent when it obtains a certificate for the second commercial space.

Any breach or default of the agreement will convert any funds from the PAEDC to a three-year loan from the date of default with an interest rate of 10 percent per year.

Downtown news

The PAEDC has also hired SETEX Facilities & Maintenance LLC for Phase II of the renovation of the former Port Arthur News building at 549 Fourth St. into a community and business development center.

The price tag of the renovation will not exceed $1.6 million. In recent weeks, some of the walls of the 91-year-old facility, now nicknamed the Press Building, have been taken down, making some of the interior visible from outside.

Powers Brown Architecture of Texas, based in Houston, will be hired for $115,000 — $10,000 of which is reimbursable — for Phase II.

The PAEDC is also hiring companies for asbestos abatement and related consulting for more than $56,000.

Also downtown, structural engineering firm Fittz & Shipman Inc. of Beaumont will lease office space at the former Port Arthur Savings Building at 501 Procter St. for $261.80 per month ($1.10 per square foot) for three years.

In other city business …

  • A 1,500-gallon per minute Pierce fire engine will be purchased from Siddons-Martin Emergency Group for $849,756.

The engine will replace a 2008 model, which will be moved to reserve status, at Fire Station No. 8.

  • A 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab SSV will be purchased for the fire department from Silsbee Ford for $41,338.25.
  • The fire department also is receiving a 2020 State Homeland Security Grant of $27,743.08 from the office of Gov. Greg Abbott with no local match required. The grant helps the city prevent threatened or actual acts of terrorism and will be used toward the purchase of six Motorola APX6000 portable radios along with accessories, programming and warranty.
  • Repairs and maintenance of the Department Club at 1924 Lakeshore Dr. have gone to a third phase. The city is extending the contract term with LaBiche Architectural Group of Beaumont by one year.

The Department Club, which has been used to hold meetings and receptions, was partially damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The first phase addressed repairs, maintenance and abatement of asbestos, lead and mold. Repairs in the second phase sealed the building to prevent further deterioration.

McInnis Construction of Silsbee was awarded a $224,000 contract to begin the second phase. It has received a contract extension of eight days to Nov. 18 at no additional cost.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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