Nederland’s “Off Boston” project kicks off; locations available for restaurants and retail

Published 2:19 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023

NEDERLAND — Just behind a large yellow house at the corner of Twin City Highway and Atlanta Avenue is a vacant area earmarked for construction of new businesses in Nederland.

The house, which is for sale, will one day become a restaurant, and someone has expressed interest in the property, but that is very preliminary, Nederland Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Kay DeCuir said.

A large sandhill and shovels were in the backyard of the property, which is separated from a parking lot by a street that ends at nearby Boston Avenue.

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The shovels and sand were for the groundbreaking Wednesday of NEDC’s “Off Boston” Atlanta Avenue Destination, which is an expansion of the city’s downtown shopping area.

The groundbreaking at 1118 Atlanta Avenue brought NEDC officials as well as city officials, construction and architectural representatives and members of the Nederland Chamber of Commerce.

Billy Doornbos, NEDC board member, called the project good economic development for Nederland.

“It’s spreading our downtown,” Doornbos said. “And who knows where it would go from here.”

He said the development should bring jobs and area residents to the area to shop.

NEDC board member Billy Neal remembers the once bustling downtown and how decades later the area saw a loss of businesses. But now the downtown area is starting to flourish, he said, giving credit to DeCuir and her work at the NEDC.

DeCuir said Wednesday’s groundbreaking signifies a new shopping expansion in the downtown district, which will become a destination for new retail and restaurants— “it’s growth for the city,” she said.

NEDC President Bret Duplant said the project has been in the works for a number of years and DeCuir kept pushing for it to become a reality.

Charlie Jabbia and Chase Comeaux with N & T Construction and Ronnie Jones with Architectural Alliance Inc. stood together talking after the ceremony. They said the project has local construction, architects and sub-contractors.

Construction of six new buildings, one of which is a double style building, starts in the next few weeks.

The buildings can only be used for sales tax-driven businesses, and the property can not be leased, it must be sold. Once a buyer choses their spot they will need to pay a deposit to put the land on hold.

The sizes are:

  • Unit A — 1,200 square feet
  • Unit C — 1,080 square feet
  • Unit D — 1,350 square feet
  • Unit E — 1,540 square feet
  • Unit F & G— 2,950 square feet

(There is no “unit B”)

The prices for the properties are set and non negotiable, meaning the NEDC isn’t going to profit from the endeavor, DeCuir said in a meeting earlier this month.

The buildings, once complete, will be a shell with a restroom. It will be up to the owner to do the build-out inside.

The proposed construction contract, which includes six buildings, comes in at roughly $2.2 million. The contractor is N & T Construction and Architectural Alliance Inc. are the architects.