Port of Lake Charles to build industrial employee housing facility

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

Port of Lake Charles officials on Monday announced plans to build an industrial employee housing facility, which will hold

up to 4,000 workers.

The $70 million facility will be built on 200 acres of Port property to meet projected workforce demands for the area. It

will be located off of La. 397, one mile south of Interstate 10. The construction of the temporary facility is expected to

bring in 400 jobs.

Plans include recreational facilities, a baseball field, basketball courts and several different dining options, said Executive

Director Bill Rase. Details were released in a presentation by Greenfield Logistical Solutions of Louisiana during the Port’s

regular board meeting Monday.

Ian Foster, a partner at GLS, said this type of temporary housing has been built across the Middle East, as well as in western

Africa and Canada.

“Lake Charles is unique because of the economic boom,” Foster said.

Foster said the facility will “provide a world-class employee village in support of local project activity.”

The plan also includes daily meals and transportation for the residents.

Calcasieu Parish’s population is almost 193,000 and expected to

increase by 2,000 by 2015, but that number does not include

growth from the upcoming job explosion fueled by the $40 billion-plus

in capital investment, Foster said. According to a survey

by GLS, 5,200 new permanent jobs will be created in the next two

years and the area will see an influx of 15,000 temporary

construction workers during a three- to five-year period.

“Housing for these workers has been a concern for a long time,” Rase

said. “We hope to move forward with this quickly. We

feel it is an important project for the community, and it will add

some relief to the situation of housing and transportation.”

Foster said rent will be about $130 per day, including three meals and transportation. Unit fabrication will be done in Houston

and set up in Lake Charles in three phases. The facility could be completed as early as November 2014.

“This is a good first step in how we will house all of the workers,” said George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest

Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “We will need this solution and private enterprise for permanent workers. The main

thing for the construction workers is temporary housing and this concept has worked around the world.”