Old Sears retail site now out for bid for new development - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Old Sears retail site now out for bid for new development

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Renewed interest in the old Sears retail site prompted the City of Lake Charles to put the downtown property out for bid.

According to Mayor Randy Roach, the city has received two letters of interest from two different developers about developing the two-acre block.

There has been interest in the past and a failed proposal of a downtown hotel.

Roach credits the new prospects to the investment made in the Ryan Streetscape project.

"It's an ideal time to start developing that property. I think it will fit very well with the new style of Ryan Street - the pedestrian feel that we have established," Roach said.

The old Sears building sat vacant in downtown Lake Charles for years before the city purchased it for $800,000 in 2004. Since then, it has been cleared and waiting for a developer.

The parties currently expressing interest have not been named nor have their proposed plans.

Roach said the city would like to see a mixed-use development combining commercial and residential space but are open to all offers.

"We're looking for something that fits with the overall theme of development for downtown. And I think that these developers are interested in but to say what they will actually do is premature until they actually make their presentation," Roach said.

The deadline to submit bids is Oct. 8. Once the bids come in, the city will have an appraiser validate the offer to see if it's acceptable range of value under state law.

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