Old Harrah's property: still no takers

Old Harrah's property has no official takers at this time

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The City of Lake Charles has high hopes for the old Harrah's property. Despite no official development bids and a deadline just days away - confidence remains on the future of this prime piece of the Lakefront.

"I think we are interested in seeing how much developers are willing to pay for the property. What's the real value of the property to the city and secondly what are they willing to commit to do with the property," said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach.
After being on the market for nearly year, the City has set a Tuesday May 29 deadline for sealed bids for developers who are interested.

The Lake Charles City Council said it won't accept less than $4,000,000 for the property, but so far no one has officially bid on it.

"The main thing is we don't let our interest in getting something done overshadow what is being done. And we want to make sure whatever we look for or whatever we accept is the right thing for the property," said Roach.

Over the last couple of years there's been a lot of interest in the property. The most persistent company is Mardi Gras Boardwalk. They have talked about a multi-million dollar mixed development that would include commercial, entertainment nightlife and restaurants. It's the type of development Mayor Roach believes will put the property back into commerce.

"Add value in terms of commercial development and also add value to the city in terms of the revenue that the property can generate for the city that can be used for other development along the Lakefront area," said Roach.

Though the city has unsuccessfully been down this road before, Mayor Roach is optimistic.

"The devil is in the details. It's always in not just how much are they willing to pay but how are they going to pay for it and how are they going to finance the operation. As long as we can work through those issues then I think we will have a project we can look at," said Roach.

Again the deadline to submit sealed bids is Tuesday, May 29 at 5 p.m. The council will then open and present the proposals later that evening at their agenda meeting.