The AT&T building in downtown Beaumont, so close to demolition, attracts the attention of private investors


According to Ward 2 Council Member Mike Getz, a private investor is interested in developing the property at 555 Main Street, which is currently slated for demolition.

Getz wouldn’t name the investment company because the city doesn’t have a written offer or a written contract.

However, Selim Kiralp Investors posted an animated rendition of what downtown Beaumont might look like on his YouTube page in April, titled “Beaumont River Walk & 555 Main Street.”

Neither the investor nor the city have had any recent conversations about any significant development outside of the 555 Main Street property, as the video shows.

“(The anonymous private investor) wants to put a restaurant on the roof there. He wants to make it into high-end lofts. And he wants to put independent restaurants on the water or closer to the water, using some of our local restaurateurs who are willing to invest,” Getz said. “He’s already made an offer and he’s shown up and the board is aware of that, and that’s what we’re talking about (in executive session). was absolutely part of the discussion.

On Tuesday, a discussion was scheduled for the executive session regarding the previous owner’s ability to purchase the building if the city did not tear it down. Before the council retired to a private room, Getz and Ward 1 council member Taylor Neild suggested that transactions involving the AT&T building be handled in public rather than in executive session.

“My concern is that this thing keeps going back and forth, back and forth for too long, and I think citizens deserve to know where we stand as a council on this thing,” Neild said. “I do not support continuing these discussions in executive session whenever we have the legal right to have them here in front of the public.”

Getz agreed.

“It involves millions of public taxpayer dollars. Just because we’re allowed to have something in executive session doesn’t mean it’s always the right thing to do,” Getz said. “And in the interests of transparency, I think the discussion should also take place downstairs.”

A council member expressed disapproval of this plan, however. Ward 3 council member Audwin Samuel noted that the council had already decided to demolish the building.

“It is clear that until this is done there will be a fight until some come,” Samuel said. “If you want to do that – and you will – we can discuss it downstairs. It doesn’t matter to me, but it’s just another opportunity for someone to try and get what they want. And the decision is made. But if this council wants to entertain that, so be it.

The council finally proceeded to the executive session. Details of this discussion were not disclosed.

If the sale to the anonymous investor goes through, a tentative timeline is already in place.

“(The investor) has indicated that he would like to start work as soon as he can mobilize and then he can finish it in two years,” Getz said.

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