DDA recommends City not move forward with Mardi Gras Boardwalk

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It appears the good times might not roll, at the proposed Mardi Gras Boardwalk. In a special meeting Monday afternoon the Lake Charles Downtown Development Authority gave it the thumbs down.

"The proposal has been reviewed, and reviewed, and reviewed, but at this time we do not recommend the City Council enter into a long-term lease agreement with the Mardi Gras Boardwalk," said DDA President Adley Cormier.

The proposal development would sit on the track of land just north of the Civic Center between Veteran's Memorial Park. It plans to offer visitors shopping, fine-dining, entertainment and nightlife, plus a few extras.

"I was not overly impressed with this frankly when it first came in. And I kept hoping it would get better and better. It looked real good on paper and when we went to the public meeting and it was interesting. But I think this is the so unfleshed out that I think is the strongest recommendation we can make to the council," said Rick Richard, DDA member.

According to the DDA the biggest problems with the proposal: lack of parking, difficulties with financing and the request to be exempt from smart code guidelines.

"That would affect everyone in the Downtown/Lakefront area. We believe smart code is important to building right for the future and they did not want to be covered by smart code or any of the other business regulations that every other development needs to face," said Cormier.

Local veterans are also voicing their concerns. They feel the development, especially a roller coaster that would go over the lake, would infringe on what they've created at Veterans Memorial Park. They say calls to the developers to discuss the matter have not been returned.

"We're not against development. We're not against development of the lakefront. And we're willing to work with them or anybody else, but we are worried about when somebody just doesn't even speak to you. And just wants to roller-coaster you," said Jackson.

Again this is just a recommendation by the DDA. The City Council will have the final say. Council members are expected to discuss this at Tuesday night's agenda meeting, then make a final decision on March 2nd.

Also coming out of Monday's special DDA meeting, a recommendation to council for the Hurricane Museum and Science Center to be located on Track 1D.

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