Community leaders see many benefits with airport land development

Published 12:32 am Thursday, April 29, 2021

After more than a decade of plans and speculations, local leaders are excited to see more land being developed in the area near Jack Brooks Regional Airport.

While an industrial park under construction since 2019 is still underway, its developer — LaBrie Properties — recently began clearing another piece of land in the area off U.S. 69.

“It will be retail buildings,” said Airport Manager Alex Rupp. “It’s great. There’s bound to be a correlation between any new businesses and airport activity. Anything that brings people out should raise awareness of what we have.”

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LaBrie, who developed the Silos shopping center near Tram Road, told Port Arthur Newsmedia in 2019 that The Palms Industrial Park would be two buildings that had been leased with signed contracts.

LaBrie did not respond this week to requests for comment, but the website for the development on Jerry Ware Drive touts it to be an opportunity “with the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of business needs.”

There will be eight spaces available.

A sign with the contact information for requests remains at the corner of Jerry Ware Drive and the U.S. 69 frontage road, where ground has been broken on the approximate 15 acres that will hold the industrial park.

While details are scarce on the retail space under development by LaBrie, local leaders are happy to see it underway.

“It’s going to increase tax revenue out there,” said Commissioner Darrell Bush. “This has been a long time coming to get something going out there.”

Bush previously served as the Nederland police chief from June 1, 2001, to May 31, 2018. He worked in the city as development was discussed, planned and fell-through more than once.

Now he hopes the current movement, as well as the spread of business booming at the intersection of U.S. 69 and FM 365 continues to push more development into the area near the airport.