City accepts backup offer on old Sears retail site - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

City accepts backup offer on old Sears retail site

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Just as one developer is working to put a $20 million mixed-use development on the old Sears retail site, another one is waiting in the wings should the first plan fail.

Developer Roger Landry is no stranger to downtown Lake Charles. He's the man behind Muller's Lofts and is currently under bid to develop the former Sears retail site across the street. As he works to conduct his own environmental tests on the site, he is confident he has the means to back up the plan. However, in the event it falls through, another developer is ready to step in.

"It's common practice in the private sector to accept a backup offer and that is what we are asking for here. For any reasons Mr. Landry cannot meet the terms of the agreement, we are just asking that we can have a fair shot and enter into agreement at that time," said Chris Khoury, Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Khoury represents developer Donnie Jarreau out of Baton Rouge. Jarreau was the second highest bidder on the Sears property earlier this month. His proposal is very similar to Landry's and would also include majority residential apartments with a mix of retail. Khoury calls the move insurance on the city's part.

"I think either way whether our project happens on Ryan Street or Mr. Landry's, again both will have a great impact," Khoury said.

While Khoury said his client is still very interested in the Sears retail site he, would not elaborate on if he would entertain another property in the market. But according to Khoury, there is a need in Lake Charles.

"I think the next few years we will see an even higher demand with the job force growing and the projects growing. It's a very exciting time to be in Lake Charles," said Khoury.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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