Motiva to buy 2 PA downtown buildings, move some operations there

Published 5:58 pm Sunday, April 7, 2019

By Ken Stickney 

The Orange Leader


Motiva has purchased two historic downtown buildings — the Adams Building, later the World Trade Building, at 440 Austin St. and the Federal Building, formerly the U.S. Post Office, at 500 Austin — in a move that will eventually locate up to 500 employees downtown, perhaps in between two and three years.

The timeline is uncertain until the deal is closed, a company spokesman said Wednesday morning. “It’s a moving target, but our goal is as quickly as possible,” Jay Hall, who has guided the acquisition for Motiva, said of a purchase and construction start date. “We’re moving to close as we speak.”

Hall said the company has executed options to buy the property from private owners and the target date to close is May 15. He said the company notified the city of Port Arthur officials and Jefferson County leaders Tuesday.

Some of the employees who are expected to eventually work downtown will move from Motiva Enterprise’s site on Savannah Avenue; they will be office and support people without duties directly related to “refinery specific maintenance or site operations.”

Others who moved into the two buildings will likely be additional hires.

 “We are growing, and as we grow in operation, we will need more personnel,” Hall said.

In addition, the downtown facilities will provide meeting space and conference centers. For example, he said, the company might reveal its “state of Motiva” reports or company town halls there.

The company has done “due diligence” and “structural and environmental assessments” started in mid-January. Motiva exercised its options for the properties this week.

Hall said the next phase of the project would involve working with city and other government officials for permits for remediation and structural design.