Last Modified: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 7:01 PM
After two years of proposals, discussions and vote delays, the Lake Charles City Council will decide tonight if developers will be able to officially build Mardi Gras Boardwalk.
Mardi Gras Boardwalk spokesman Lamar Berry told the American Press on Tuesday that his group is looking forward to tonight’s vote.
“Yes, we are hopeful that the City Council will conclude that this is as good for the city as we think it could be,” he said.
The developer wants to build a $46 million entertainment and hotel facility on nine acres along Lake Charles that the city obtained through a donation from Pinnacle Entertainment in 2011.
Berry said the venue would be an economic draw for the city by complimenting existing gambling operations.
“When you round it all out, it certainly looks like Mardi Gras Boardwalk is one of the last components needed for the city to have a home run,” he said.
Should the City Council approve the proposal, Berry said the company would move ahead with more definitive plans, which would then be provided to the city and zoning commission for approvals.
Berry said noted Lafayette-based architect Steve Oubre would work on the designs. Oubre was a leading figure in the designing of The Village of River Ranch in Lafayette.
In a telephone interview with the American Press this month, Oubre confirmed that he is a member of the Mardi Gras Boardwalk design team.
“I’m excited about the project. It is a great one, and I believe in it,” he said.
City Council President John Ieyoub said it is time for local government to make a decision.
“I know there are concerns about their proposal, but they will be here to answer questions. If those issues are resolved, all of us will be able to make an informed decision that is beneficial for the citizens of Lake Charles,” he said.
The council’s primary concern is Mardi Gras Boardwalk’s timetable for the payment on its $4.4 million purchase offer for the land and abandoned parking garage.
If approved, Mardi Gras Boardwalk officials said the final project would measure 183,800 square feet and create 165 construction jobs, along with 1,300 permanent jobs.
Today’s meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in Central School Arts and Humanities Center, at 809 Kirby St.