Tuesday is the deadline for developers and investors to present proposals to the Lake Charles City Council for developing a strip of lakefront real estate. The property, seen in this pre-Hurricane Rita photo, was donated to the City of Lake Charles by Pinnacle Entertainment. (American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012 5:49 PM
If an agreement can be finalized with Lake Charles City Hall, officials with Lake Charles Mardi Gras Boardwalk anticipate it would take about 30 months to build and then celebrate the grand opening of their entertainment complex.
Lamar Berry, a member of the group proposing the plan, said the deal would benefit the company and city. “There’s no square peg in a round hole here. We are talking about, what we feel, is a perfect match,” he said.
On Tuesday, Mardi Gras Boardwalk officials made a formal bid to the City Council for the nine acres of lakeshore property that was donated to the city by Pinnacle Entertainment. Mardi Gras Boardwalk was the only company to bid on the property.
The company plans to spend $4.4 million for the property and abandoned parking garage, which would be retrofitted to serve the complex’s clientele.
Three areas of development are featured in the plan.
Company officials propose building a festival park and amphitheater that could accommodate 7,500 people for festivals and concerts.
A condo/hotel would also be built. It would stand five stories, have 100 rooms and measure 50,000 square feet.
Plans also include a 35,000-square-foot sports bar and grill and a 25,000-square-foot family entertainment center.
Company officials want to build spaces for six restaurants, three music venues, four limited-service businesses (gift shops), three quick-service businesses (novelties), and seven kiosks.
According to the business plan, which was reviewed by the American Press, company officials have had “preliminary discussions” with celebrity cook Emeril Lagasse, restaurant owner Ralph Brennan, New Orleans entertainer Dr. John and a major hotel developer in an attempt to generate interest in Mardi Gras Boardwalk.
If an agreement with the city is negotiated, developers want to talk to companies like Acme Oyster House, Galatoire’s Restaurant, WOW Cafe and Wingery, Rock n’ Sake and Happy’s Irish Pub about becoming tenants.
“Lake Charles is at the epicenter of state traffic. It is a very exciting footprint,” Berry said.
He said the investment group thinks local gaming and resort operators would see increases in the number of hotel days visitors spend in the city with another entertainment venue like Mardi Gras Boardwalk.
Berry said the company is using private sources to finance the project and would be interested in establishing a taxing zone on the property to raise funds for ongoing marketing efforts at Mardi Gras Boardwalk.
Company officials estimate that 165 construction jobs would be available when work on the project begins. It is expected that construction would have a $78.9 million impact on Lake Charles.
After the facility is completed, more than 1,300 jobs are expected to be created. Over a 10-year period, it is projected that $520 million in revenue would be generated and $11.7 million in sales taxes would be collected.
The project would be a total of 183,800 square feet.
City Council members are expected to vote on approving the proposal June 20.
Posted By: G Stevens On: 6/19/2012
Title: Bring it on, Bring it all on
Lake Charles needs to find a way to go forward with the Mardi Gras Boardwalk project AND find the room (Old Wild Life and Fisheries property) to let the Port of Lake Charles establish their idea of a Kemah type of development as well. they city could erect some water park style slides and rides ON north beach, all while keeping the beach free to beach goers. Bracelets could be purchased for the slides and rides. Also, the USS Orleck could be relocated to the lake front right on I-10 where the site of it alone would make people want to stop and check it out. It could be placed right in front of the tourist bureau, where admiission could be purchased.
Hotels will be begging the city and current property owners all over down town and north of I-10 to build all new hotels in the area so that travelwers could stop and stay.
Posted By: DD On: 6/9/2012
It sounds nice but I think you'll need alot more than 100 rooms to host the events you're talking about. And I hate the name...just too party-esque; too done. What scares me most is that if it's only done 1/2 way, we'll have yet another eyesore.
A stellar non-gaming hotel with lake-front shops - bar and grill etc with a boat dock and slips with power. Not that would get used!
What brings people to Southwest Louisiana is sports. It's just a fact. I'd rather see more hotels - maybe a water park or just more rooms next to Burton Colesieum. There is alot of land, good roads and an existing event center. We already have a wonderful park for families and it's getting better every - day.
Posted By: Dragon On: 6/2/2012
We need a venue that will attract great musicians that now do shows and in Houston and New Orleans..........Lau'berge is good but we need something like a House of Blues or Hard Rock Cafe........something of that nature.
Posted By: Doug On: 5/31/2012
Title: Do It Right, Please!!
Whatever is done with that property, it should end up being one of the top SHOWPLACES in Louisiana ( if intelligence prevails, for a change ).
Posted By: g von On: 5/31/2012
no mention of how these people are going to finance this project, or do they already have the cash on hand