LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been cleared for weeks but the old Harrah's property has been without a value until now. According to appraisers the lakefront property is worth no less than $3,270,000.
"With that said I wanted to add an item to the agenda in order to authorize the City of Lake Charles to sell surplus property donated by Pinnacle," said Stuart Weatherford, Lake Charles City Council.
The appraisal does not include the old parking garage. In need of repair city officials felt it was in the best interest to keep the parking garage separate.
"It will take somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2-million and $2-million to fix that garage and that's why it brought our appraisal down because of the liability on the cost," explained Dana Carl Jackson, Lake Charles City Council.
Mayor Randy Roach said the garage still has use. With at least 400 parking spots engineers believe it is feasible for repair.
"It definitely has value and I think we need to hold onto that property for the moment and find out what the interest is in the development then we can deal with the parking issue. Because obviously as you all know - no matter what development we have talked about over the last several years - parking has always been an issue," said Mayor Roach.
But the issue at center stage now is getting a buyer for the property. While company Mardi Gras Boardwalk's proposal for a mixed use commercial/entertainment development appears to be the front runner - there is no firm commitment and council members said it's still wide open.
"I think Mardi Gras Boardwalk is still serious about their commitment. They have continued talks for more than two years. I think that one is serious and we might have some more... Who knows," said Jackson.
The proposals will have to include a management and business plan and a timeline of construction. The earliest the city council will make a decision on a sale will be May 16th.