A Gilmer company is planning to transform almost 200 acres south of Longview into a trucking and intermodal facility that will move dry bulk and liquid products through East Texas.
David Lee Stevenson, and his father, Bill, started Custom Commodities Transport in 1985 with one truck. Today, the company “has expanded into bulk commodity markets all over North America. We are the nation’s largest transporter of activated carbon, we have a formidable presence in the Gulf Coast plastic market, a premier food-grade division, and an industry-leading liquid chemical division,” information on the company’s website says.
David Stevenson is president and CEO. The property his company purchased on Estes Parkway, just south of Eastman Chemical Co., was once where former Longview News-Journal Publisher Carl Estes’ home and ranch were located.
Estes was known for his efforts to bring companies such as Eastman and what is today Komatsu to Longview. The Estes home had deteriorated and was in a state of disrepair. It has been demolished.
“That’s what we intend is to develop that (land) into a large area of commerce for our Gregg County area,” Stevenson said. The property provides access for trucking and rail services.
“We do a lot of business in the Longview area,” with companies here, he said. “It was kind of a natural draw for us to want to invest in the opportunity to continue to offer our services for industry in that area and potential industry coming into that area as well.”
Design and details are being finalized, and Stevenson said he expects the facility to be ready for use within 18 months. Several stages are planned.
“We’re excited about that,” he said, adding that a lot of the engineering and work will be provided by local companies.
“It’s going to be a state-of-the-art, world-class freight intermodal transfer facility that will offer solutions for a very efficient freight inlet and outlet for this area,” Stevenson said.
Local and outside demand are driving the project, which he said will bring more jobs to the area.
“We’re excited. We work … for large industries over there in Gregg County,” and Harrison County, he said. “We really appreciate the opportunities that we have been provided and continue to expand on.”
Jaggers, a fast-casual restaurant concept from Texas Roadhouse, is expected to open Nov. 8 in Longview.
The Dallas-based Saxton Group built the 3,400-square-foot building in the parking lot of Northloop Plaza at West Loop 281 and Judson Road. Jaggers previously has said the restaurant is its first location in Texas.
The restaurant concept was introduced in 2014.
Menu items include hand-breaded chicken tenders, double-stacked burgers, chicken sandwiches, fresh salads with scratch-made dressings, shoestring fries, tater tots and milkshakes.
Marcus Shirley introduced himself on the restaurant’s Facebook page as the managing partner for the Longview restaurant.
Tia Juanita’s progress
A long-deteriorating sign for Johnny Cace’s Seafood and Steakhouse has been replaced by a sign for Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp on Marshall Avenue.
Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp is a “Mexicajun” restaurant chain that has been renovating the iconic Longview restaurant building for its next location. The restaurant is expected to open in December, and the restaurant’s Facebook page says hiring has begun. Applicants should go the building at 1501 E. Marshall Ave.
Tia Juanita’s menu includes a full oyster bar with chargrilled oysters, and the restaurant kept a sign that hung under the main Johnny Cace’s sign advertising “oysters on the half shell.” Other fare includes spicy shrimp and spicy boudin enchiladas, fajitas, seafood gumbo and chicken and sausage gumbo, Baja Bourbon Fish and Shrimp Tacos and other dishes.
“Pleasure Island,” as it’s known at all the restaurants, offers a variety of “deluxe frozen cocktails.” The name comes from a former amusement park in Beaumont, where the restaurant chain got its start. It will also offer live music four nights a week.