Historic Naval Barracks finding new mission in Southeast Texas

Published 12:16 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

ORANGE — The historic site of the former Naval Barracks in Orange has a new, repurposed mission.

Golden Triangle Polymers signed a lease agreement with the Port of Orange to operate at the facility, with plans to house more than 150 employees there while construction continues on the $8.5 billion facility along Highway 87 South in Orange. Startup is expected to occur in 2026.

Golden Triangle Polymers Company is a joint venture between Chevron Phillips Chemical and QatarEnergy.

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Craig Lemons, maintenance manager for Golden Triangle Polymers, told Port Arthur Newsmedia there is a two-year lease agreement to start, but it is possible the company could occupy the building longer depending on the need.

Officials are expecting to use the Barracks to office more than 150 employees moving to Greater Orange from Japan, Korea, Kansas City and all over Texas.

According to Lemons, the building will primarily be used as daily office space for project employees, as well as an onboarding and training for new employees hired for the completed petrochemical facility.

“Employees will start working out of the building this month,” Lemons said. “We expect the remainder of our project employees to be onsite by March 2024.”

He added the Port of Orange has worked with Chevron Phillips Chemical for years and continues to work with Golden Triangle Polymers.

This is a benefit because there are no buildings near the Golden Triangle Polymers project site that can accommodate the arriving workforce, making the Naval Barracks “advantageous.”

“As someone who’s been connected to the Orange community for the past eight years, I understand the history and nostalgia of the naval barracks and the Port of Orange in general,” Lemons said. “I feel a sense of community pride in being able to repurpose this important and historic site. I also feel honored to be a part of its revitalization efforts, not only for the Port of Orange but for Orange County overall.”

The Naval Barracks stands as a two-story office building containing approximately 18,500 square feet of office space.

Port officials are excited to see the Naval Barracks utilized to its full potential while supporting local jobs and contributing to growth in the City of Orange and Orange County.

Port of Orange Executive Director/CEO Lorrie Taylor said the collaboration between all involved demonstrates the continued commitment to being a responsible and engaged member of the community by supporting the local economy.

“A few years ago, the Port decided to give the Naval Barracks a complete facelift by repainting the exterior of the building,” Taylor said. “Recently, the Port made a capital investment in an additional acre parking area along with the original parking lot to accommodate as many as 200 vehicles.”

Taylor adds that the Port of Orange has been in discussions with Chevron Phillips along with sub-contractors of the project for potential warehouse space, laydown areas, barge traffic and potential cargo movement over the Sabine River in the future.