Plans in the works for former Bank of America building in Nederland

Published 12:36 am Thursday, January 26, 2023

NEDERLAND — Boston Avenue may soon house both an event center and an emergency management shelter in what was once a Bank of America.

The vacant building as well as its corresponding parking lot were purchased in 2021 by the Nederland Economic Development Corporation in separate transactions. The parking lot, which sits across the street from the building, was approved by City Council to be purchased for a price not to exceed $380,000. Four months later, council members approved the EDC’s request to purchase the building for no more than $520,000.

At the September meeting, EDC Executive Director Kay DeCuir said the building could serve as an event center or bed and breakfast with room to have commercial office spaces upstairs.

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Plans are now in the works for an event center on the bottom, with the city potentially utilizing the upstairs area as an emergency shelter for first responders.

Last summer the city had the building assessed for durability in a storm.

The entrance to the Bank of America building in Nederland. (Stephen Hemelt/The News)

“That was first, to determine what it could withstand,” said City Manager Chris Duque. “We want it to withstand a Category 4 hurricane — what Laura was supposed to be.”

The 2020 hurricane was projected to hit Southeast Texas before making landfall in Cameron, Louisiana. The building on Boston Avenue between 13th Street and 14th Street was deemed fit to withstand such a storm.

“Council is still accessing everything in front of us before a decision is made,” Duque said.

Currently, during hurricanes and other severe weather events, first responders utilize the public safety complex housing the police and fire departments.

The former bank building is approximately 17,000 square feet and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The purchase of the parking lot is not affiliated with the use of the bank building. Decuir previously said that space might be utilized to construct office buildings or a shopping center.