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Chennault to buy 440 acres of land along La. 397

Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 7:10 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

The Chennault International Airport Authority is in negotiations to buy 440 acres of property just south of the airfield along La. 397 to avoid unwanted infrastructure from other potential owners.

The board of commissioners approved the agenda item Wednesday at its regular monthly meeting.

While the actual cost will be determined later, Executive Director Randy Robb said the land will cost about $1,500 an acre, or $660,000.

Robb said the land is valuable to protect Chennault from “unwanted incursion like trailer parks.”

Acquiring the land also sets up Chennault for the potential for growth and self-sufficiency, he said. Robb’s hope for the land is that it be used for “industrial growth and manufacturing in the future.”

“We would eventually want to build something there to lease,” Robb said. There is the potential to build warehouses or a distribution center, he said. “It’s just the right thing to do,” he said.

The authority also entered into a national listing contract with NAI Lake Charles for selected Chennault properties. The national listing contract will be on a month-to-month basis with no monthly fees. A commission will only be paid to NAI if a lease contract is signed.

Robb said the agreement should be a “big exposure multiplier for Chennault” because there is “lots of property available to market.”

“There is no downside that we can see — that’s why we’re working with NAI to try to attract more people from all over the United States to Lake Charles to work here,” Robb said. “We pay only when they bring customers.”

NAI Lake Charles will even represent Chennault in the negotiations with Iberia Bank for the purchase of the 440 acres of property. NAI’s 3 percent commission will be paid by the seller.

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