Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the purpose of activity near the Motel 6 on Broadway in Galveston. Crews are building a satellite parking lot for Sea Scout Base, which is underway across the freeway.
Realty rumblings: All parties involved are mum, but that hasn’t stifled rumors that the Mall of the Mainland building is under contract to a company that wants to use the property for light industrial manufacturing purposes. The company’s identity wasn’t available Monday. Neither was information about whether it wanted to buy just some or all of the available mall property, 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway in Texas City.
Other rumors were making the rounds that a different company, also interested in light manufacturing, had withdrawn its bid for the shell of the shopping center.
Meanwhile, College of the Mainland officials confirmed they were in talks with mall owners about the possibility of leasing a small section of the building to provide more space for popular classes. But those talks are in the very early stages, Beth Lewis, president of College of the Mainland, said.
The mall has been on the market for several years with the most recent asking price of $8.9 million. But the seller is offering a $1 million price reduction and a $100,000 broker incentive if a sale closes in the next 45 days, according to marketing information on Loopnet.com.
At one time, Texas City was considering purchasing the mall in hopes of controlling development, but officials balked at the asking price.
Earlier this year, Coastline Retail Center Inc., which gained control of the shopping center as a result of a foreclosure action and related litigation, closed the interior common areas of the mall, which had struggled for years to attract staple stores and shoppers.
The closure, however, did not affect Sears, which owns its own store, Palais Royal or movie theater Cinemark. But leases for other stores were terminated. At the time, Coastline Retail Center officials said closure of the 450,904-square-foot mall could be the first step in a future owner’s redevelopment of the troubled property.
“I’d just be happy for a good use that fits well in the community,” Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle said.
What’s that?: Wondering about all that land clearing work at 7300 block of Broadway next to Motel 6 on the island? You’re not alone. Inquiring readers want to know about the activity, which is for a parking lot to support the Sea Scout Base, which is underway across the freeway.
Initial speculation was that the activity was for a hotel. Bob Patel and his wife, Harshida, plan to build an 80-to-100 room property at 7220 Broadway, but construction for that development hasn't begun.
To encourage such development, the city needs to install some infrastructure. Members of the city’s Industrial Development Corp. last year agreed to allocate some money to pay for the installation of sewer lines in an unserved area on Broadway that would benefit several developments, including the hotel and the Sea Scout Base across the freeway at 7511 Broadway.
The Industrial Development Corp. at the time said the sewer line project could cost up to $350,000 in 4B sales tax money, with half coming from the infrastructure category and half from economic development. The city’s seven-member Industrial Development Corp. administers the half-cent 4B sales tax, which generates about $4 million a year for various projects.
On the burner: A new restaurant concept is reported to be in the works at the building formerly occupied by Flamingo Steak and Seafood, 6028 Heards Lane on the island. Read more about it in Thursday’s Biz Buzz or check in with Buzz Blog later today at galvnews.com.
Building bites dust: Crews earlier this month generated some buzz by demolishing an old and fairly large Nassau Bay building, 2000 NASA Parkway. A Valero gas station will rise in its place. The demolished building most recently was occupied by The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake, but before that was reportedly home to Nassau Bay Bank and other financial institutions. Detailed history about the building has been elusive.
In 2012, The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake left the building to “fine-tune strategy to better accomplish its mission of bringing arts and the community together.”
Debra Kendrick, who was curator there from 2002 until the alliance moved out, was sad to see the building demolished.
“It’s just so sad to see it be reduced to rubble and swept away to become a gas station, with no hint of its past, serving hundreds of artists, young and old, many from the Galveston area, during the years it stood for the arts,” Kendrick said.
Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.