Lake Charles' Landry wins bid to develop old Sears property

By By Eric Cormier / American Press

Of the three developers who expressed interest in 3.5 acres of property in the downtown district, the Lake Charles City Council on Wednesday chose

Roger Landry, who had offered to buy the land for $1.06 million and build a mixed residential and business facility.

“We’ve been wanting to do this project

for five years,” Landry said. “It is time. We convinced the City Council

we could deliver.”

The land, in the 600 block of Ryan

Street, has to be inspected for environmental problems before the

purchase can be closed,

Landry said. City officials used federal funds to clean the

property before the former Sears structure was demolished in 2008.

Landry wants to build 170-plus

residential units and provide 22,000 square feet of business space on

the property. He estimates

that the facility would cost $20 million to construct. “In about a

year and a half we could start construction. It will take

that long to get the engineering and architectural work done,” he

said.

Landry intends to pay cash for the property. If that deal is unsuccessful, Baton Rouge developer Donnie Jarreau may get an

opportunity to buy the land. City Council members intend to create a procedure allowing Jarreau access as a backup plan.

Jarreau initially offered $957,500 for the property. After the appraisal — $815,000 — was announced by the city, he changed

the bid to $825,000. According to his real estate representative, Chris Khoury with Keller Williams, it was going to be a

cash deal.

Geddings Development Corp., led by Lake Charles businessman Gray Stream, offered $735,000 for the property — below the appraised

value. City officials were unable to sell the land for less than the appraised value.