Eyeing it as a potential site for a downtown restaurant or retail business, the Mineola Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) on Dec. 31 closed on its purchase of the vacant lot at South Johnson and East Commerce streets.
The 0.58-acre lot is where the 1888 building once stood across from the Mineola train depot. The building had a colorful history as a hotel, but for many years it was vacant and left to deteriorate. Tricia and Erik Carver had attempted to restore the structure and convert it to a restaurant, but in the end, engineers determined it was too far gone. It was razed in January 2017.
MEDC Executive Director Mercy Rushing said the lot will be marketed as a site for a new business in Mineola’s downtown. “We’ll use it as an incentive to get someone there,” she said. MEDC will stipulate that something is actually built on the lot, or the property will revert back to MEDC, she added.
MEDC wants either a restaurant or a retail establishment to open at the site, something that will generate city sales taxes, according to Rushing.