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Developers make pitch for former Sears property

Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 5:28 PM

By Eric Cormier / American Press

Three development groups with ties to Lake Charles officially entered the race to buy the former Sears property downtown and build combined retail and residential complexes.

Bid packages with each group’s proposal were opened during Tuesday’s Lake Charles City Council agenda meeting. The city owns the property.

KW Commercial, the real estate division of Keller Williams Realty, is offering $957,500. Erdace Apartments offered a bid of $628,500 for the property. Geddings Development Corp. offered $425,000 for the land.

The companies are competing for the purchase of 3.7 acres of land in the 600 block of Ryan Street.

KW Commercial representative Chris Khoury –– a member of the city’s Downtown Development Authority — said the investment group “has looked at the site awhile.”

The proposal consists of plans to build a three-story stucco-and-brick building that would hold 188 multifamily housing units with on-site parking.

Erdace Apartments, spearheaded by developer Roger Landry, would be a four-story, 225,000-square-foot building. Landry said the facility would have 166 luxury apartments and 22,000 square feet of retail space. He estimates the project would cost $19 million.

Scott Moffett, with ERA Moffett Realty, said he was working with Landry on the project. “This would go nicely with what is downtown already,” he said.

Geddings Development Corp. is preliminarily proposing to build a mixed-use development with “high-quality for-rent spaces,” according to its proposal. The facility would have 120-160 units.

Company spokesman Gray Stream said he is confident that “we can bring a vision and investment into downtown Lake Charles that will be generational. Our vision is to build something that fits what we do both nationally and internationally.”

City Council President Mark Eckard appointed fellow council members Marshall Simien and John Ieyoub to review the proposals and make a recommendation on who should be awarded a buy-sell agreement from the city.

A decision could be made in November.

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