City officials update Port Neches Riverfront improvement, Iguana Joe’s status

Published 12:21 am Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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PORT NECHES — Port Neches riverfront development continues with the addition of a walkway and bollard lights, and more projects are planned.

Light post and guardrail installation is scheduled.

Taylor Shelton, director of public works, said the walkway, or sidewalk, starts at Lee Avenue and Merriman Street, and divides with one section going toward the boat ramp and the other to the riverfront development area on the river side.

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The guard railing is set to be installed this week and the city is waiting for the light posts to be delivered, Shelton said.

The walkway winds past the Neches River Wheelhouse through what is now vacant land, but the land won’t stay vacant for long.

The recently installed walkway on the Port Neches riverfront. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Construction of Iguana Joe’s restaurant is still on the books, City Manager Andre Wimer said. There is no set date for construction to begin at this time.

With the riverfront mapped out, there is room for more businesses.

“We are in discussion with several groups at this present time,” Shelton said, noting the city is in talks with developers who are all trying to figure out what will happen with COVID-19.

Shelton did not provide the names of the potential businesses.

The recently constructed walkway stops short of the under-construction Indian Pointe subdivision, Wimer said.

Indian Pointe subdivision is a project of Dinh Nguyen of LLB Construction. The final plat for the subdivision was approved in June. Jon Carona with Advantage Real Estate is responsible for the sales and acquisitions of the project. This frees up LLB Construction and 2DS Development to focus on other aspects.

The project is paid from the city’s Capital Improvement Project funding and a grant from Entergy for the lighting.

McInnis Construction from Lumberton is the contractor. The total cost is $694.699.36.

City leaders in Port Neches have long worked for the development of the riverfront property.

In 2005, two tracts of land on the riverfront were acquired by the city; one was previously an abandoned oil refinery the other a marine company. The property was remediated to residential standards and planning began for the property.

Guardrails will soon be added along the recently installed walkway on the Port Neches riverfront.