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Rendering of developer Roger Landry's plan for a residential and retail facility that would be home to 166 luxury apartments and 22,000 square feet of business space. (Special to the American Press)

Rendering of developer Roger Landry's plan for a residential and retail facility that would be home to 166 luxury apartments and 22,000 square feet of business space. (Special to the American Press)

(American Press Archives)

(American Press Archives)

Lake Charles' Landry wins bid to develop old Sears property

Last Modified: Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:01 PM

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.

Posted By: Adley Cormier On: 11/8/2012

Title: New Infill Downtown Will Spur Other Development

The City has invested in their Downtown with new utilities, marina, street and sidewalk improvements, park improvements and new City Court. We all benefit--existing businesses, new businesses, new activity, more tourist interest, and improved area pride and citizen involvement.. Downtown radiates energy--things are happening. Now a real private investment of a size and scale to to take advantage of our very special Downtown. Perhaps we will soon fully enjoy the potential of what should be our unique geography of success: water + interstate + parks + people! Good luck to the folks who are building a better Lake Charles.

Posted By: Andrew S. On: 11/7/2012

Title: Downtown

Hopefully we will see this happen soon. I would like to know why the Council chose this developer over the others. I hope the newspaper interviewed the Council members. I liked his plan the best, and I thought it was a plus that he already had experience renovating the Muller's Lofts. Having more people live in downtown Lake Charles will make that area a safer place, which will help attract more business, etc.

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