Following are some of the projects the Economic Development Corporation has undertaken in recent years:
SEEKING NEW RETAIL AND RESTAURANT DEVELOPMENT
Although La Porte has a solid, diverse economy that attracts billions of dollars in industrial trade and investment, daytime employment of 154,000, high average household income of $72,000, and access to over 6 million tourists, it suffers from a lack of new retail, restaurant, and/or mixed use development.
The City of La Porte is seeking opportunities to discuss new retail and restaurant developments with prospective retailers and developers. A variety of financial incentives are available to encourage new retail development in La Porte.
Dozens of sites ranging in size from fewer than 5 acres to more than 200 acres, including a city-owned, 300 acre, municipal airport, city-owned sites on Galveston Bay, and sites with frontage on State Highway 146, Spencer Highway, Broadway, Bay Area Blvd., and Fairmont Parkway, are available for development.
For specific, available site information and demographics, please click here.
LA PORTE ENHANCEMENT GRANT PROGRAM
The La Porte Enhancement Grant Program is a matching grant program, sponsored by the La Porte Development Corporation, to stimulate re-development along limited portions of Main Street and South Broadway in La Porte, Texas. A map of the area included in the program is shown below and provided in the program guidelines. Eligible projects of the program include facade renovation, beautification projects, new awnings, canopies, porches, and signage. To view and/or download the guidelines and application for the La Porte Enhancement Grant Program, please click here.
This area was founded in 1889 by French settlers and given the name La Porte, meaning "the door" or "gateway". As a tribute to the heritage of this area and a welcome to its present-day visitors into the historic downtown district, the west end of Main Street will have a gateway erected in 2010. Located at the entrance of the Main Street District at West Main Street and Highway 146, the gateway will feature two large, brick towers on either side of Main Street that offer a visual grand welcome into La Porte’s original marketplace. The entrance will also include verdant landscaping, lighting, and ornamental iron fencing. This significant project is being funded by the Port of Houston Authority’s corridor enhancement program, Project Stars, and the City of La Porte Economic Development Corporation.
In conjunction with the Gateway, the City also purchased, with EDC funds, the building located at 912 W. Main. The Gateway project includes significant external enhancements and improvements to the property and the parking lot. The City hopes to lease the property to a restaurant or retail business owner.
FIVE POINTS TOWN PLAZA
The Five Points Town Plaza was funded by the La Porte EDC in response to the community’s request for a meeting and gathering place. The Plaza was completed in March, 2010.
Plaza features include fountains, sitting benches, a performance pavilion, space for public art, free Wi-Fi wireless internet access, web cameras, and a sound system capable of playing music 24/7. The City will sponsor events at the Plaza throughout the year, including a summer concert series and the annual Christmas on Main Street Festival.
The EDC also purchased property and land abutting the Plaza in the hopes that the property will be developed into mixed-use commercial retail and office space that will help revitalize the downtown area.
SYLVAN BEACH RENOURISHMENT PROJECT
The Sylvan Beach Re-nourishment Project was completed in January, 2010. Now La Porte residents and visitors to the area have a full 2,000 linear feet of sandy beaches ready and waiting for their toe-sticking pleasure. In addition to new sand, the project also included the creation of walkways and benches along the beach for visitors to enjoy.
The re-nourishment project will also stabilize the shoreline of Sylvan Beach Park, which is part of the Harris County Parks System. The project was a joint venture involving the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Port of Houston Authority, the City of La Porte, Harris County, and the Texas General Land Office.
Sylvan Beach was a major tourist destination in the early 1920’s, but the pre-existing beach began a steady decline as a direct result of the completion of the Houston Ship Channel in 1928. In 1961 Hurricane Carla completely devastated what beach was left at that point, making it a “beach” in name only. The re-nourishment project is intended to restore the beach and also to provide erosion protection for the park shoreline. The City and County are committed to future maintenance and upkeep of the site, and City officials expect that the beach will once again become a large draw for the beach-loving public in Houston and the surrounding areas.
Scott D. Livingston
604 W. Fairmont Pkwy
La Porte, TX 77571
(281) 470-5016 office
(281) 842-1259 faxemail