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See redevelopment plan for old Bank of America drive thru in Nederland

NEDERLAND — There is a plan to redevelop nearly two acres of Boston Avenue property that was once used as a 12-lane Bank of America drive thru.

The Nederland Economic Development Corporation plans to purchase the property at 1308 Boston Avenue from Plouti LLC for a price not to exceed $380,000.

Nederland City Council members unanimously approved the purchase this week.

Nederland EDC Executive Director Kay DeCuir said the opportunity to purchase the property came up, which matches a need in the city to create retail availabilities on Boston Avenue.

“We want to acquire it before someone else does and it becomes a warehouse or something else,” DeCuir said.

There are no immediate plans for what’s next, and DeCuir cautioned demolition of what is located on the property and construction of what comes next may not be complete until 2023.

The Nederland Economic Development Corporation Board, with city council oversight on expenditures exceeding $10,000, still must authorize architectural drawings, engineering and surveying.

The results of each might dictate what happens next.

DeCuir said board members would consider building one large retail building that can be divided into small businesses or simply construct several individual buildings.

The plan would be to sell those finished buildings to business interests looking to locate on Boston Avenue.

“People want to be on Boston,” DeCuir said. “I don’t have any more places to put people on Boston. Our last things are leased. There is nothing available anymore.

“We want (the new construction) to look like old town. Each one would have a different façade in the front. One might be red brick. One might be stucco.”

Exact sizes and shapes for future construction are not been finalized.

The property is located on the south side of Boston Avenue between 14th and 13th streets in Nederland.

DeCuir said EDC leaders want development that is going to look best for the community and fit the environment on Boston Avenue.

During discussion on the purchase this week in front of the city council, Mayor Don Albanese asked if the EDC considered purchasing the main Bank of America building on the other side of Boston Avenue.

DeCuir said that was very expensive, adding, “we’re just not touching it right now.”

City Manager Chris Duque asked for an estimated value of improvements planned for the property. DeCuir said EDC leaders have not gotten that far on the project, but she anticipated a multi-million dollar investment.

According to DeCuir, Nederland taxpayers would see a return on the EDC expenditures in resale of the property, sales tax and property taxes.

“It would be awesome if people could just see the vision of what is yet to come,” DeCuir told Port Arthur Newsmedia following this week’s city council meeting. “We could do small individual structures, each independent of each other. There are all kinds of things we can do.”