Developer looking at Groves for luxury RV resort at site of former Sims Elementary
Published 12:40 am Thursday, October 20, 2022
GROVES — A developer is looking at the site of a former school to place an upscale RV resort, including a restaurant in the city of Groves.
James Thornton, president and CEO of Luxurious Development Properties, is eying the 19-acre site where the former Sims Elementary School once stood decades ago. The property is still owned by Port Arthur Independent School District but is located in Groves’ city limits at 5600 25th St.
The resort would be for Class A and 5th Wheel RVs only, with member-based participation. Amenities would include state-of-the-art virtual office spaces and conference rooms, a restaurant, entertainment lounge, pool(s), event space(s), cigar lounge, indoor and outdoor exercise areas and select areas for local usage, according to information from the city.
Groves City Manager D.E. Sosa said there are a number of hurdles that must be crossed before the project goes forward, as was the discussion at a recent city work session.
“The initial meeting was to talk about what possibilities are there and how to get started,” Sosa said. “The first thing, it will have to get rezoned.”
There would also be the need for infrastructure improvements. Sosa said since the property was only ever used as a school, the city has no additional surplus wastewater capacity there.
There may be a need to widen the road in addition to signage improvements, water requirements and solar panel requirements and/or restrictions.
Sosa said there would also be the need for discussion on financing, possible economic development corporation involvement and additional grants.
A feasibility study is another necessary hurdle, which will tell profitability.
Councilwoman Rhonda Dugas said the issue is in the early stages and nothing has been decided or voted on regarding the project.
If approved, there are a number of positive outcomes for the city, including generating property tax, increase in sales tax and job creation.
Dugas feels this is a good project and is happy it was brought to Groves.
“The property has been sitting empty for a long time,” Dugas said. “The city needs to have some serious discussion about it.”
IN SIMILAR NEWS: Groves RV park to fit expected industrial boom gets green light