LEDCO approves purchase of property near I-20 corridor
June 28, 2013 at 6:44 a.m.
Two blighted city lots where Longview kisses Interstate 20 could be attractive to developers hunting 6½ acres which 30,000 vehicles pass daily, economic development leaders are banking after pledging to spend up to $1.8 million.
"There's a whole range of things that that (property) could be used for," Longview Economic Development Corp. Chairman Keith Honey said, moments after a unanimous LEDCO board agreed to buy two lots at Estes Parkway and I-20 where a shuttered hotel and service station sit behind cyclone fencing.
LEDCO approved buying the land for $1 million and plans to invest up to $800,000 to demolish the buildings and ready the lots for the sale block.
The city's I-20 Corridor Task Force recently identified the sites as a roadblock to development of the Estes Parkway entrance to Longview.
"So, what we're announcing today is a plan to remove that roadblock," task force chairman Dale Lunsford said during a press conference immediately after LEDCO's Friday morning meeting. "Today is the beginning of some really good things happening."
While Lunsford's committee and other city backers have been clear about wanting someone to invest in a full-scale convention/hotel complex, the goal for the newly purchased lots is simply that they be put back to work for the city.
"There's one group right now that wants a full-sized hotel/convention center," Longview Mayor Jay Dean said. "They are looking at another property that's down (Texas) 149. We don't know about this property (selling) for that purpose. That would be the decision of the developer. We will be very proactive in pursuing developers, people who are interested in investing in a prime piece of real estate."
Pick up the Saturday edition of the Longview News-Journal for more on this story.