Motiva responds to announcement of construction restart in downtown Port Arthur – Port Arthur News


The recent activity in buildings owned by Motiva Enterprises in downtown Port Arthur has likely raised eyebrows – and generated some excitement.

But the flurry of work is not due to the resumption of construction of the two historic buildings by the teams, city leaders said. Instead, it’s all about cleaning up and preparing properties for hurricane season.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie said he was contacted by a company representative on Friday to explain what was going on.

He said that as long as he was told there was no set time for the company to revert to the original intention of rebuilding the buildings.

Motiva made a statement on the subject:

“We are currently awaiting historic designations from the state and the federal government. Although the renovation schedule has been slowed down, downtown Port Arthur is still the future home of a Motiva campus that will provide much needed office space for employees and contractors who are not directly involved in maintenance or operations. site-specific operations, ”the press release said.

Lights can be seen in the old Federal Building on Austin Avenue, left. (Marie Meaux / The News)

A regional TV report this week indicating that construction resumed at the site was premature, according to city and company officials.

Rumors began to circulate in late March when construction on two historic buildings purchased by the company came to a halt. Motiva bought the Adams Building and the Federal Building on Austin Avenue two years ago after announcing in 2017 that it was investing $ 12 billion in the expansion of the Port Arthur refinery, creating up to 12,000 jobs.

In April, Jay Hall, Motiva’s business manager for strategy and business development, addressed city council, saying work had been halted but the company was waiting for the current historic area to be state approved. and the federal government.

Hall said that in the meantime, the company has been working on internal and external architectural designs so that they can “take over” once the certificates arrive.

Originally, the buildings were to be completed by the first quarter of 2022. Due to the delay, this deadline could now extend until early 2023.

Bartie, at the time, noted that Motiva is a private landowner and owes the city no explanation but, out of mutual respect, believes the company should have communicated earlier that it had withdrawn from the work.

Friday’s communication was appreciated, he said. And while the project is not released, the city is in limbo as to what Motiva will do.

“They responded as I asked,” Bartie said of the call. “We hope and pray that they return to the original intention of Reimagining Port Arthur, the intention to house 500 to 800 people in offices in these buildings in downtown Port Arthur.”

The Greater PA Chamber of Commerce is housed in a historic building on Procter Street adjacent to the old Adams Building. House President and CEO Pat Avery noticed activity in nearby buildings from an office window and was excited, she said.

“It will be great to have them right next door and start this revival downtown,” Avery said. “I can not wait.”

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