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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

New chemical plant bringing construction boom to Greater Orange

 

Last updated 2/28/2023 at 6:46pm

Porky's, a 24-hour convenience store that will sell foods and beverages, along with a variety of goods, will be opening soon in West Orange at the corner of Highway 87 South and FM 105 catacorner to the new ChevronPhillips plant site. It is one of several construction projects in the West Orange-Pinehurst-Orange area.

New construction is in full swing around the Greater Orange area with much of it tied into the construction of the $8.5 billion ChevronPhillips chemical plant.

However, HEB has not gotten any permits or announced the start of building its acquired site off MacArthur Drive in Pinehurst. The Texas-based grocery giant worked with Pinehurst officials more than five years ago to begin site plans at the spot where the 1960 MacArthur Shopping Center stood for half a century.

Pinehurst Code Enforcement Officer Leonard Ross, though, said McDonald's, which acquired land next to the HEB site, has gotten a permit for signage, though the company has not applied for the building permit.

In West Orange, Porky's convenience store complex is close to being completed on Highway 87 at FM 105. The store is on the northeast corner of the busy intersection and catacorner to where the ChevronPhillips Golden Triangle Polymer plant is being constructed.

West Orange Mayor Pro Tem Meritta Kennedy said the store is described as a "mini-Buccee's" and will include restaurant food along with fuels for big trucks, along with gasoline for regular cars and pickup trucks. It will be open 24 hours a day.

She said the store was set to open at the end of February, but has had delays. Still, everything is complete on the outside, including new landscaping.

She had some disappointing news on Tuesday, though. Moreaux Transportation Services, a Houston-based company with a site on FM 1006, known as Chemical Row, had planned to build a concrete plant at the northeast corner of Western Avenue and Foreman Road, which is also catacorner to the new ChevronPhillips plant.

Kennedy said a company spokesman told her the Orange County Drainage District was holding up its permit and the company has decided at this time to use the site for storing materials. Tuesday afternoon, piles of rock were on the land. The company will use another Orange site for the concrete plant.

City officials in West Orange are continuing to work on infrastructure, like roads, to attract more businesses, she said. The city is also condemning and demolishing dilapidated buildings. Recently, a long-vacant commercial building on Western Avenue that once had a kolache shop was taken down and the lot was cleared.

Over in Orange, a permit was issued in January for a 10-unit apartment complex at 3110 23rd Street at the north end of the Charlemont subdivision and off Interstate 10. The land was cleared several months ago at the site.

The project's value was listed at $1.2 million with A2Z Global Construction as the contractor.

The city of Orange has also announced that BCS Capital Group of Houston will be building a White Water Express car wash on 16th Street south of Interstate 10 in the area by Chick-fil-A and Starbucks.

The city council and city's Economic Development Corporation board approved a $200,000 EDC grant to help with costs of the new building. Previously, a company had planned an oil change business at the site, but the plans changed.

The city is also giving Whataburger a $300,000 EDC grant for a new restaurant in that same area of 16th Street.

A new White Water car wash is planned for 16th south of Interstate 10 in Orange. The Orange City Council recently approved an EDC grant for the construction.

That acreage was opened up for development after city officials spent more than a decade trying to get the Texas Department of Transportation to build an Interstate 10 access road across the railroad tracks there. For more than 60 years, Interstate travelers had to cross the tracks by an overpass with no access road. The agreement with Union Pacific to open two new traffic crossings led to the city closing old track crossings.

Construction on the new Whataburger has not started.

The city also announced last week that roadway construction was starting for the new Little Cypress Grove subdivision off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive west of Little Cypress Junior High.

The road construction is being done in the evenings into the early morning hours and includes the use concrete trucks and installed light plants. Weekday road construction will not interfere with drop-off and pick-up times at the nearby school.

The subdivision is planned for 28 acres with 99 single-family houses.

Construction in Orange is also continuing on the new Gisela Houseman Medical Center in the Eagle Point development off Interstate 10 and Highway 62. A new residence-style hotel with furnished kitchens in rooms is being built east of the medical complex.

 
 

Reader Comments(1)

Chick writes:

The Drainage District messed up on this one. They need to realize they need to complete their approvals asap, to assist growth in Orange. Those Board members are elected officials, so remember that when you go to the polls.

 
 
 

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