KAY DECUIR — Nederland EDC helps drive city success in 2021
Published 12:04 am Thursday, December 2, 2021
Welcome to one of the most exciting times of the year as we reflect on 2021.
The Nederland Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) stays busy all year long every year, but 2021 was truly a banner year preceded by a year of COVID.
In 2020, with the help of the Nederland Economic Development Corporation, the highest sales tax in the history of Nederland was recorded. This is due to strategic planning and oversight of business development and expansion.
The NEDC works diligently with our local businesses of all sizes to ensure they have the tools necessary to be successful. The NEDC helped provide COVID Loans for businesses struggling and paid large sums in advertising through newspaper, television commercials and billboards to raise awareness of our community.
With that plan in mind and the results that followed, in 2021, the NEDC implemented the same strategy but stepped outside the box in economic development. Stepping out of the box basically meant, we were going to do more than we had in 2020.
The staff and NEDC Board all agreed that together we are progressive thinkers and never want our city to become stagnant.
So, let’s discuss 2021. Part of our strategic plan was to focus on Downtown Revitalization but at the same time never forget the rest of our community. The strategic plan was in place a few years back, but in 2021 opportunity knocked on the door of the NEDC.
The first project was to purchase the Villa Motel on Nederland Avenue, tear it down and make it clean and ready for a new viable business. Checkers purchased the lot before the For Sale sign could even go in the ground for the full asking price. Checkers will open their doors in 2022. There had been almost a year behind the scenes in preparation for this new development.
The NEDC at the same time constructed the ARCH on Boston Avenue, or the “sign” as some call it. This was a huge construction project managed by the architect and contractor working with the NEDC.
There were two beautiful murals painted on the ARCH after the construction was completed and an additional two murals painted within the brick courtyard area on Boston Avenue by the large clock. This clock was donated by Nederland Rotary Club many years ago.
While NEDC was working on the ARCH and the Villa Motel Property, NEDC acquired two buildings on 1215 and 1217 Boston Avenue. The buildings were completely gutted and remodeled to bring two more viable businesses to Boston Avenue. Those places today are Ortiz Formalwear and Men’s Clothing and Sparkle and Co. Florist.
If you ever looked into the windows before the new construction, you would have noticed a very unappealing inoperable business for many years with its doors locked. This caused issues for our other businesses on Boston and obviously at NEDC, we do not like to see empty buildings anywhere in the City.
At the same time the above was taking place, the NEDC continued to work with other areas of downtown. The NEDC focused on acquiring the Bank of America Building and the Bank of America Parking Lot directly across the street.
Why would we want something sitting stagnant? The bank parking lot will eventually become a shopping center that will blend in with the rest of Boston as if it had been there the entire time.
The exterior façade is planned to be aged to look the same as the rest of Boston Avenue. We currently are working with several developers on this property. It will be open for proposal in 2022 and then will be sold.
The Bank Building is another project that many say would make a great event center for downtown and possibly a commercial office space for upstairs. NEDC will work with developers to make this happen and then also sell that property to the developer.
The NEDC is acquiring multiple properties on Atlanta Avenue to extend the downtown shopping area. NEDC is working with a developer now to move the homes, which will be used in an additional Nederland project. The NEDC will then begin to build little cottage businesses to be sold in order to expand the business district.
This area will include sidewalks for pedestrian walking areas and lights to
compliment Boston Avenue. The plan will be to create at least 4 cottages for new businesses to purchase.
Also, NEDC will have a property on Twin City Highway to secure a smaller restaurant or another business missing from the community.
The NEDC also brought six concerts to Boston Avenue in conjunction with Jerry Diaz and the Nederland Inaugural Concert Series hosted by NEDC and Jerry Diaz. We had four great concerts in October, which featured; JAG, Running on Credit, Jerry Diaz and Hannah’s Reef, plus Cajun Harmony.
In November, NEDC extended the concert series by two additional weeks and brought in the David Joel Band and PopGun. All of these bands were great and provided a quality-of-life event of FREE concerts for our community.
Sponsors who supported this project were Echo Group, Neches Federal Credit Union, Twisted Gypsy, Sunset Travel, Zaza’s Boutique, Judice’s 1927 and Aqua One Marine, LLC. Without these sponsors, we would not have been able to host these events.
We would like to bring the Concert Series back in the Spring and Fall of 2022 but again will need sponsors. Please plan now to be a sponsor and help us provide a great family outdoor event FREE for everyone to attend. Watch the NEDC Website for details in the spring.
The NEDC also held its 6th Annual Old Town Nederland Fall Market Day Oct. 16, which brought hundreds of people to our community. More than 70 vendor spaces lined Boston Avenue, and stores all across town had a very busy and profitable day.
Do I sound like I am tooting our horn? Well, maybe just a little because I rarely brag on us, and we provide more for the community than most realize.
We work tirelessly to make Nederland one of the greatest places to live and conduct business. We constantly meet with new business owners and try to help them find a location to set up their business.
We work with them on their SBA Financing and help them get started with Formal Business Plans through partnership with the Small Business Development Centers — all for FREE.
We provide Quality of Life Events and so much more. We are a great resource to know. We do more than is visible to the eye, because with any project, there are many moving pieces and all have to fit together to be successful.
As we wrap the year, our remaining events will be hosted in December.
Our events for December include the Annual Light Up Nederland Business Contest and the winner will be announced Dec. 20.
The Nederland Golf Cart Tour of Lights will be held Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.
The Christmas Gift Basket Giveaway will take place and winners will be announced on Dec. 20.
Please check our website www.nededc.com under EVENTS Tab, Light Up Nederland, for more details and applications to each event. Always remember to check out our many Facebook pages, Nederland Texas Economic Development Corporation, Old “Ole” Town Nederland Fall Market Day, Light Up Nederland and Nederland Golf Cart Tour of Lights for more information.
The Nederland Economic Development Corporation was founded in 1994 by the citizens of Nederland as a not-for-profit corporation. The Nederland EDC’s role is to promote the expansion of businesses and jobs in Nederland and to attract new businesses and development to Nederland.
Our goals include: Attract and grow primary industry jobs, Increase sales tax revenue, Increase property tax revenue through new business industry, Support a positive business climate, Promote and assist Nederland Businesses, and Leverage investment in the community.
We are not responsible for road construction, bridge construction, city streets and drainage. We are managed by a volunteer Board of Directors who are business-minded individuals who reside within the city limits.
The NEDC awarded in 2021 more than $549,497.00 for Beautification and Business Expansion to more than 17 businesses.
2021 was a great year at the NEDC, and we look forward to completing our current projects and future developments in 2022 and 2023.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!
Kay DeCuir is the executive director of the Nederland Economic Development Corporation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.