Robstown's only sexually oriented business, which has been shut down since a Feb. 1 fire, is officially closed after a local economic development corporation purchased the property and demolished the building.
Robstown Improvement Development Corp. president Armando Gonzalez Jr. said the owner of Maxi's Gentlemen's Club approached the City of Robstown about the possibility of selling the property. The building, he added, was a total loss to the owner and would have required a near complete rebuild.
The land and building was purchased for $40,720, which Gonzalez said was market value. The idea is that in the future, if a company decides to relocate to that area, the RIDC will have land available to sell for a potential profit.
"That's why we thought it was a good idea…that's good (property) to have in our arsenal," he said.
The business was heavily damaged in an arson blaze in early February and police have not made any arrests in connection with the incident. A "Reopening Soon" sign was posted after the fire occurred, but after further inspection, the condition of the building would have required a complete demolition, Mayor Rodrigo Ramon said.
"When the building inspector looked at the building…mostly all of it was going to have to be torn down because the integrity of the building was sacrificed," he said.
The city is also looking to revise its existing policy regarding the issuing of permits for sexually oriented businesses, he added.
Robstown Police Chief Johnny Brown, whose department handles the issuing and enforcement of the existing ordinance, said on Tuesday the process is in the preliminary stages of revision, with a presentation to be made to the city council sometime within the next few weeks.
Brown wouldn't state what specific changes are being proposed to the sexually oriented business ordinance, but when asked if a business like Maxi's would be able to receive a permit to open in Robstown, he answered "probably not."
Maxi's used fully nude models who performed in private rooms for their customers.
Ramon said the city had received numerous complaints about the business and the type of services it provided. He added that he hoped the business's closure would put residents' minds at ease.
"The council, as a whole, felt that there was really no benefit as far as that business being in town," he said. "There are a lot of people that are happy that that facility is no longer there."
"It's a win-win for Robstown," Gonzalez added.