Demolition of A Laughing Horse Lodge and the Rock Cottages took place in May and June.
Built around the time of World War II on Avenue G, one of the most prominent thoroughfares in town, the cottages were among the oldest lodgings in Port Aransas.
One of the owners of the properties, Deven Bhakta, said nothing definite had been planned yet for the parcels.
“My partner and I will most certainly develop something that remains true to Port A, while paying homage to the iconic motels that stood there before,” he said.
Bhakta is a hotelier and chairman of the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau.
“A unique opportunity presented itself when the former owners put the properties on the market, so we moved quickly in order to secure them,” said Bhakta, president and CEO of ZJZ Hospitality Inc.
“We did this very mindfully because we knew outside developers would be very interested in acquiring the properties due to their prime location in Port Aransas; and as a local business owner, I did not want the integrity of the area compromised.”
Hurricane Harvey’s strike on Port Aransas on Aug. 25, 2017, damaged both properties beyond repair, and they no longer were structurally sound, Bhakta said.
“So, hesitantly, the decision was made to demolish each of them and begin with somewhat of a new slate,” he said.
“I would like to make it crystal-clear that my commitment to and passion for Port Aransas is unwavering, and I will continue my efforts to bring the most positive impact, both economically and in reputation to our city,” he said.
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