Smaller parcels being considered for lakefront development - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Smaller parcels being considered for lakefront development

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

In the last few years there have been only two major proposals for lakefront development. It's been more than three years since the "Lakeside" development failed to get the necessary financing together and was eventually shot down by the Lake Charles City Council.

Most recently it's Mardi Gras Boardwalk. They want to develop on the old Harrah's property, but are still trying to lock down financing for their multi-million dollar mixed-use proposal.

Councilman Rodney Geyen believes it's time for a different approach.

"We have not received any concrete offers yet. Maybe we should think about offering parcels of land for investors to come in and develop," said Geyen.

Currently the property south of the Civic Center is divided up into smaller parcels. However, Geyen believes dividing up the entire lakefront would attract more investors and be easier to finance.

Geyen said even though it's on a smaller scale, collectively it would add up to the development Lake Charles has always dreamed about.

Mayor Randy Roach said it's something to consider when collaborating with a marketing firm.

"It's almost like the old saying - you eat an elephant one bite at a time. And they probably will recommend a strategy for maybe moving around and reduce the scope so we are not talking about mega projects. Although I wouldn't rule that out," said Mayor Roach.

Big or small, the community is ready for something.

"I know it is going to happen. I have the confidence and faith that development along the lakefront will happen. The question is when? -- I would like to see it happen before I leave the council. We have worked so hard to get projects out there and I'm hoping that somehow we can get that done," said Geyen.

The City of Lake Charles plans to send out a request for qualified marketing firms to help market the lakefront in the very near future.

Meanwhile, city officials also want to finish cleanup on the old Harrah's property. The council expressed interest in going out for bid to have a company remove the old foundation and parking lot. However, they would like to look into using some of the old concrete as infill along the lakefront.

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