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Beaumont building battle continues after city tables purchase of AT&T property for 60 days

The council motioned on Tuesday to delay the decision to purchase until a date after the city's mayoral election.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The Beaumont building battle continues after the decision to purchase an AT&T building has been delayed for another 60 days.

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames and councilman Randy Feldschau motioned on Tuesday to table the item regarding the purchase of the AT&T building at 555 Main Street until a date after the mayoral election.

Editor's note: The video above is from a June 12, 2021 newscast.

Ames and most of the city councilmembers are in favor of the purchase for the greater purpose of revitalizing the downtown Riverfront. However, the council feels they need more time to be more transparent with citizens about development plans for the property.

"You bring this out very rapidly to the public and let everyone know what the truth is and what our plans are," Councilman Mike Getz said.

Ames said she wants to be clear with citizens about what the development plans are for the site of the AT&T building. She also said there's a lot of misinformation surrounding the plans for the property, including the idea that it’s going to be a parking lot. She thinks the city could make it part of a larger riverfront development.

"It's been one of my concerns all along is that we have not been transparent enough with this project," Ames said.

The building sold to Tom Flanagan for more than $2 million in an online auction in 2019. The Beaumont City Council also bid on it but lost out. Now, the city is still fighting for the property.

The offer for the building was supposed to expire Tuesday, June 15 at 5 p.m., according to the city attorney. But negotiations took a turn during the meeting. Flanagan announced he was willing to extend the current offer, and the council agreed to extend it by a maximum of 60 days.

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