30-day extension granted for developer on old Sears site - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

30-day extension granted for developer on old Sears site

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The Lake Charles City Council has agreed on a 30-day extension for the buy-sell agreement for the old Sears retail site in downtown Lake Charles. Developer Roger Landry requested the extension for more time in the due diligence environmental process.

Lake Charles City Attorney Billy Loftin recommended the Council give the extension.

"We want to be business-friendly here in the City of Lake Charles and to not grant a 30-day extension would be unreasonable," said Loftin. "He has already finished the environmental phase 1 on the property, which did have some contamination which was cleaned up before the buy-sell agreement. But his banker has approved but he's still waiting on HUD to see if it meets their standards to go through a program to build the development he wants to build."

Landry wants to buy the 3.67 property for a little over a million dollars and develop a $20-million luxury apartment complex. The apartment complex would be 225,000 square feet of one, two and three bedroom apartments, including 22,000 square feet of retail space.

The council unanimously agreed to give the extension and understand the need for more time.

"During this 60 day period you had three holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Not to mention it was the end of the year. So it's hard to get business done. So I think they have lost 30 days already. So I don't have a problem with the extension," said Marshall Simien, Lake Charles City Council.

However, the Council also expects to not be asked for another extension.

"The extension is fair, but we don't want to keep going through this," said Luvertha August, Lake Charles City Council Vice President.

"I don't have a problem with the extension. But it's going to be us to stop him and 30 days extra. We'll just stop him the next one. Give it to the other one," said Dana Carl Jackson.

In the event it doesn't work out the City of Lake Charles has a backup plan in place with developer Donnie Jarreau out of Baton Rouge. Jarreau wants to build a similar development on the property.

"I think it's all going to work out. Mr. Landry is just needing a little extra time for his due diligence environmental process. It's very reasonable," said Loftin.

Landry now has until February 25th to get the due diligence environmental work completed.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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