Demolishing the Old Sears Automotive Building - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Demolishing the Old Sears Automotive Building

Reported by: Britney Glaser

The Sears building in downtown Lake Charles has been vacant for a decade, becoming an eyesore to a developing downtown area.  Tuesday afternoon, city officials began receiving bids on the vacant Sears Automotive building, that will soon be turned into a transit facility.

Business owners in downtown Lake Charles say this area is the best kept secret in town.  Gigi Kaufman is a business owner in the downtown area.  She says, "Downtown has charm and activity. Once you get people back downtown, they love it."

Over the years, the downtown area has lost businesses and people, taking a hit on the economic development of this area.  But the city's push to wake up downtown Lake Charles is impacting local businesses and changing the face of this area.  Downtown business owner, Blane Bourgeois says, "It's definitely changed. It's a lot slower than I would hope it would be, but it actually has changed. You get relativity from people who haven't been down here in long periods of time and they see a bit more change than I do."

One place that hasn't changed since 1998 is the Sears property.  While there are plans to turn the original retail area into an $18 million hotel, it's been a slow process with paperwork. On the other side of the street, though, plans to demolish the old Sears Automotive building are finally coming to fruition.  City of Lake Charles Director of Public Works, Mister Edwards says, "There will be enough room there to house eight buses and it will also encompass a park for the residents that live there, for the business owners to come and enjoy. We tried to make it fit into the whole downtown flavor."

The multi-modal transit facility will allow people who take public transportation a chance to sit inside, rather than at outdoor stops.  There will also be city employees on hand to answer questions and take complaints if issues arise.

The people who work near this old building are ready to see a major makeover.  Kaufman says, "The architectural designs are very, very nice. It will be a very nice building."

Edwards says the location of this property was key in making a decision to build the transit facility.  "This is one of the locations where we felt there could be some benefit to that area," says Edwards, "There will be some new growth, it's public money being spent in that area to help revitalize the downtown area."

At Wednesday's Lake Charles City Council meeting, there will be a chairman appointed to review the bids companies made on this project - and that will then move this project to the next step, which is demolition and construction.  

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Catching up with former KPLC senior reporter Flora Roberts

    Friday, May 25 2018 11:21 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:21:37 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    For 16 year viewers learned the ins and outs of seniors here in Southwest Louisiana thanks to our stations very own senior reporters.  A few weeks ago, we caught up with one of them, but where are the rest?  7News  found Flora Roberts, and discovered just what's keeping her busy these days.  "They always tell me they recognize the voice," said Roberts. The voice behind the stories of Southwest Louisiana seniors belonged to that of Flora Roberts.&...More >>
    For 16 year viewers learned the ins and outs of seniors here in Southwest Louisiana thanks to our stations very own senior reporters.  A few weeks ago, we caught up with one of them, but where are the rest?  7News  found Flora Roberts, and discovered just what's keeping her busy these days.  "They always tell me they recognize the voice," said Roberts. The voice behind the stories of Southwest Louisiana seniors belonged to that of Flora Roberts.&...More >>
  • Time capsule buried to mark end of Lake Charles Sesquicentennial Celebration

    Time capsule buried to mark end of Lake Charles Sesquicentennial Celebration

    Friday, May 25 2018 10:55 PM EDT2018-05-26 02:55:05 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    The city buried a time capsule at the final event of the year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration in Lake Charles. A time capsule was buried on the grounds of 1911 Historic City Hall. The items buried include letters from various officials, a video message and highlight video, a McNeese football mini-helmet, and several books on the city's history. The capsule is slated for opening at the city's bicentennial celebration in 2067.  The burial of the time capsule official...More >>
    The city buried a time capsule at the final event of the year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration in Lake Charles. A time capsule was buried on the grounds of 1911 Historic City Hall. The items buried include letters from various officials, a video message and highlight video, a McNeese football mini-helmet, and several books on the city's history. The capsule is slated for opening at the city's bicentennial celebration in 2067.  The burial of the time capsule official...More >>
  • Send us your Memorial Day pictures

    Send us your Memorial Day pictures

    Friday, May 25 2018 9:41 PM EDT2018-05-26 01:41:00 GMT
    (Source History.com)(Source History.com)

    Memorial Day is Monday, May 28.

    Send us a picture of the veteran you wish to honor and we'll feature it on our website.

    More >>

    Memorial Day is Monday, May 28.

    Send us a picture of the veteran you wish to honor and we'll feature it on our website.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly