A Corpus Christi couple with Goliad ties bought and donated a historic bank to the city in hopes that it could one day be converted into a new city hall.
Lawyer Reagan Sahadi and family doctor Mary Margaret Ara have been eyeing the First National Bank building for several years, which has four stone columns and sits on Market Street across from the courthouse.
After negotiations with the building’s owner and next door neighbor, American Bank, the couple reached an agreement to purchase the 1912 building, as well as an adjoining land at the back, where Ara, whose family lives. in Goliad County for generations, eventually hopes to open his own medical practice.
In June, they donated the bank building to the city, and city officials are now considering whether the building could be converted into a new city hall.
“People talk all the time about the need for the city and the county to work together – they would be right across from each other,” said Sahadi, a former judge at Goliad City Court. “I think that would be a huge advantage.”
Brenda Moses, mayor of Goliad, said she had long believed the building would be an ideal location for town hall.
Although repairing and renovating the building is expensive, Moses said she and Main Street Goliad manager Keli Miller had explored grants to help pay for the renovations and sought advice from an engineer in Downtown Texas. Association.
The building measures 12,000 square feet, according to an online list, and Sahadi said he believed there might eventually be enough space to house not only the city council rooms but also the offices of other municipal services such as public works, municipal court and utility billing.
“If it was laid out properly, it could be a boon to the city,” he said.
Sahadi refused to disclose the purchase price. He and Ara also own the Pettus building and founded the Commercial St. Bar, both located downtown.
Converting the building to a new city hall could open up offices for other city departments such as the fire department, which lack adequate facilities, Moses said.
The building needs work. The roof leaks in the back, and a suspended ceiling installed in the 1980s may have to go. The facility is not accessible to the ADA and the floors are covered with about “10 different decades” of carpet, Moses said.
But she also noted its historical features, including a stone basement from the Mission Espíritu Santo, old bank vaults, and decorative glass.
One day, Sahadi hopes to see the name of the city on the old facade, which once read “The First National Bank”.
“It’s so beautiful on the outside,” he said. “It could almost be a landmark for the city.”
Mark Rosenberg reports on local, regional and breaking news for the Victoria Advocate as a member of the Report for America corps. He can be reached at [email protected] or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @ markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at Advocate through Report for America, visit VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.