Council moves to set deadline on Old Harrah's property - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Council moves to set deadline on Old Harrah's property

While they've received several calls about the old Harrah's property, after nearly a year on the market the City of Lake Charles will soon be able to officially sell or lease it. Now there's a move to set a May 23rd deadline for developers to submit a plan.

"Do you think that's going to be enough time for people or investors to present a proposal? I just think it's kind of short... I think it needs to be a little longer," said Rodney Geyen, Lake Charles City Council.

"I mean the property has been on the market for 9 months. There's plenty of notice out there that this property is available and for sale," said Stuart Weatherford, Lake Charles City Council.

Next Wednesday, May 16th the council will vote to declare the property surplus, which would give the City of Lake Charles authorization to sell it. They'll also vote on a resolution to sunset the property with a May 23rd deadline for developers to submit a proposal for the property.

At this time there are no official development proposals on the table but according to Councilman Dana Jackson company Mardi Gras Boardwalk is still very interested and waiting for the surplus and deadline to officially be declared.

"I spoke with them today and Mardi Gras Boardwalk will have their proposal ready in time whenever we tell them they can bring it in," said Jackson.

"Well it is time to bring it in. We've been waiting a long time on Mardi Gras Boardwalk. Just like we waited a long time for Cypress and it seems like they are very similar. We need to see some action," said Geyen.

Just last week the council voted to divide the Track-1A, the property south of the Civic Center, into five parcels to encourage smaller developments. When asked what makes this property different Councilman Stuart Weatherford believes it has all the right ingredients.

"I think it's such a prime piece of property it lends itself to a big development because it is directly on our waterfront. It's also on the Interstate near the exit. So I think that it is a piece of property that hopefully a large developer will come in and do a development that is going to be a regional type of development that's going to attract people from all over the region," said Weatherford.

Weatherford also believes timing is of the essence.

"I just think with all of the development that is about to occur west of the river, in particular with the petro-chem industry, I think it is time for a company to get in there and go ahead and put their best foot forward. It would be better to get in on the labor pool because once all those construction jobs open up west of the river the price of labor is going to go up," explained Weatherford.

Again, the council is set to potentially sunset and declare the property surplus at next week's regular meeting on Wednesday, May 16h. Once a developer submits a proposal it will be public record.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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