PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Motiva is making moves on their expansion into downtown Port Arthur. The Federal Building and the Adams, or World Trade Building, sat vacant for decades until the energy giant decided to renovate them to use for office space.
Motiva has an aggressive timeline, so they're moving fast with their construction. Tuesday, Motiva's business development lead, Jay Hall, gave an update on their progress at the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon.
"It was once said may you have the luxury of living in exciting times. Right now Motiva and the city of Port Arthur, we are living in those exciting times," Hall said.
Workers have finished with abatement on the old Federal Building, and they're just about ready to start making renovations on it, according to Hall. The company will likely turn it into a conference center. The goal is to have it ready to go by October of next year. As for the Adams Building, crews just started the reconstruction and abatement on it last week.
"Once we start the transition, you're going to be seeing a lot more activity in downtown," Hall said.
One potential source of the activity could be new life for the old Sabine hotel on Procter Street. Motiva is in negotiations with the city now. Hall said it's one of their initiatives they're working on, that has a long-term strategic plan for us.
"We have not concluded our negotiations yet, but we continue to work on it," Hall said.
On top of that, Hall said the company hopes to attract more businesses to support it's staff. They hope to be a catalyst for other companies and organizations, to bring downtown to what it was.
That also means maintaining the historical integrity of the buildings. The Federal Building is already on the historical registry, and they're working on getting the Adams building on there as well.
Melinda McNulty, a former member of the renaissance board for downtown Port Arthur, was relieved to hear about their plans.
"I just think it's a phenomenal thing for them to do, we worked so hard to try to make it happen," she said.
McNulty said Port Arthur was once a bustling place to be, and Motiva has what it takes to do it again. She believes they have the funds, and employees to make it happen. Hall agrees, and assures they will.
"It used to be a vibrant hub, we're trying to bring that back, we'll be successful," Hall said.