City officials tour old Harrah's parking garage - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

City officials tour old Harrah's parking garage

Lake Charles City Administrator John Cardone (far left) along with city engineer Mister Edwards (second from left) tour the old Harrah's garage with structural engineers and other city officials Thursday afternoon. Lake Charles City Administrator John Cardone (far left) along with city engineer Mister Edwards (second from left) tour the old Harrah's garage with structural engineers and other city officials Thursday afternoon.
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Lake Charles City officials toured the old Harrah's parking garage on Thursday afternoon as they work to determine whether it is feasible to keep and renovate.

The 500+ space parking garage has sat empty for the last few years. Some have referred to it as an eyesore on the lakefront.

But after walking through the facility with a structural engineer, city officials believe the garage has potential.

"It's in better shape than I thought," said Lake Charles City Councilman Marshall Simien. "I thought this place would be all rusted and broken down, but it's in a pretty good shape."

"Even though it's not pretty right now, it is structurally sound," said John Cardone, Lake Charles City Administrator. "It's going to need all new electrical work, all new electrical panels, new wiring and so forth."

The city said an estimate of the cost to fix all of the internal problems should be in within the next 10 days.

The cost for building a new garage is estimated to be between $6-7.5 million.

"I think this is going to be the quickest spot to develop than anything else," said Simien.

As for the hotel next door, plans are underway to have that demolished. Thanks to an agreement with the City, Pinnacle Entertainment has agreed to pay for the demolition.

Pinnacle also agreed to pay for the demolition of the parking garage, but the city requested 30 days to decide on the structure's future.

"I think it's worth giving it a facelift than demolishing it," said Cardone.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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