BEAUMONT, Texas — The City of Beaumont is moving forward with its riverfront development plans.
Beaumont City Council members agreed Tuesday to demolish the former AT&T building located at 555 Main Street.
“And it's long overdue for Beaumont. We have the Neches River. It's an asset that's been underutilized and now we're closer to making that a reality,” Councilman Audwin Samuel said.
Two bids were submitted to the council members.
One was from Prism Response, LLC, DBA Alloy Group of Houston, with a proposal of $739,925.
The company also submitted a proposal of $17,725 for a requested alternate bid. It's for the removal and disposal of asphalt base material and concrete on Cypress Street, according to the city.
Another bid was submitted for $9 million.
The council members chose Prism Response, LLC to complete the project.
Council Audwin Samuel said it paves the way for riverfront development.
“The plan is to make Beaumont a destination place, a place where people want to come particularly in the downtown area,” Samuel said.
What that will look like, remains to be seen.
“But there are too many opportunities to develop Neches River skiing boating, and restaurants to have dinner on the river all of those opportunities,” Samuel said.
The city has previously talked about naming the AT&T site Tevis Landing.
Councilman Randy Feldschau previously told us this new development could include sidewalks, benches, a splash pad, and restaurants.
“I believe, it will bring about economic growth and numerical growth. It will keep our younger demographic here,” Feldschau said.
The vote was 4-2 with Ward 1 Councilman Taylor Neild and Council Member At-Large AJ Turner voting against the deal.
Mike Getz, who was not in the meeting Tuesday, told 12News he also would have voted ‘no’ because the company didn't have a plan for the demolition.
Samuel is confident the city will come up with a winning plan.
“I think the river is a jewel that most people have not even recognized as of yet,” Samuel said.
Samuel said he is against putting Battleship Texas where the AT&T building currently stands because it will take up the whole bank along the riverfront.
The former AT&T building was bought on July 27, 2021, in a six-to-one vote with Getz being the lone abstainer. The mayor and five other council members voted in favor of the purchase.
On July 16, 2021, the city released images from their plans for possible uses of the space where the AT&T building sits. City Manager Kyle Hayes estimated the entire project would cost about $5 million.
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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.