METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) – Jefferson Parish leaders are hoping the demolition of the old Texas Motel on Airline Drive will lead to more development in the area.

The New Orleans company Harvey Gulf International Marine is building its new headquarters where the motel used to be.

According to Shane Guidry, the CEO and chairman of Harvey Gulf International Marine, the construction of their new headquarters will be completed in the fall of 2024.

Guidry, along with parish council members, hope its construction will create a domino effect.

“We’ve been trying to clean this strip up since I took office three years ago,” Jefferson Parish Councilman Deano Bonano said. “We’ve torn down three of the buildings, but hopefully this is going to be a catalyst for even quicker development on this strip of Airline Highway to get more of the old ones torn down and some new businesses moving in here.”

Harvey Gulf International Marine purchased the Texas Motel property in early May after executives made the decision to leave New Orleans.

“It’s an up-and-coming area if somebody just gets in there first, like I’m doing, and gets something torn down that’s been an eyesore for a long time and gets something new and beautiful and invest some capital in that area, and I think others will come,” Guidry said.

In 2012, the parish installed decorative light poles along Airline Drive to spruce up the area for the Super Bowl, but Harvey Gulf’s move may be the most impactful in recent years.

“You know, my wife is a little skeptical,” Guidry explained. “At first, she said, ‘Wow, why are you going here? You’re leaving such a beautiful place to go here.’ I said, ‘You know, listen, you gotta have a little vision. It might look like this today, but in 18 months, it’s going to be beautiful, at least this part of Airline will.’ And I think, within five years, all of it will be redeveloped.”

Bonano says he’s also excited for what’s to come.

“Obviously, it’s a great development for our tax bases,” Bonano said. “When it shows you someone as big as Harvey Gulf, wanting to be in Jefferson Parish, it sends a message to all other businesses that Jefferson Parish is the place to be that they want to be.”

Construction of a Chick-fil-A is also expected across the highway. Parish Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrecken says the project is in the permitting phase.

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