Last Modified: Sunday, June 10, 2012 8:27 PM
Officials with the Port of Lake Charles are in search of a site to build a new administrative building.
High-level officials from the port and City Hall met Wednesday to discuss the possibility of that facility being built along the lakeshore.
Port Director Bill Rase categorized the meeting as informal.
“All we did is discuss what might be done as far as property for an office building. Nothing went further than that,” he told the American Press on Friday. “Quite frankly, we are interested in moving, and we are interested in being on the lakefront. But we are not that far yet.”
Last month, port officials sent a letter to City Hall suggesting that the nine acres donated to the city by Pinnacle Entertainment could be the focal point of a joint development project involving the port and city.
City Council President John Ieyoub appointed a committee to meet with port representatives to talk about their interest in the land.
The council will vote on a property bid and development proposal from Mardi Gras Boardwalk on June 20. Officials with the development company want to spend $46 million to build an entertainment complex on the property.
Mayor Randy Roach thinks the port’s proposition is “viable.”
“The development concept they presented to us involved building a new administrative building on the lakefront. Many times you find an office complex as part of a larger retail commercial area,” Roach said.
Roach said the port has access to financing to build a new office building.
“If the city is not able to work with Mardi Gras Boardwalk, the port would be interested in developing the Pinnacle tract of land and use their building as a seed for development.”
Port officials have signed a three-year lease for a building in Bayou Pines. Rase said administrative offices will be moved to the new site by September.
“We have to go somewhere. United States Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration are taking over our building,” he said.
The port signed a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration to allow the federal law enforcement agencies to move into the port offices at 150 Marine Drive.
Rase said port representatives think the Pinnacle property is a good place to build because it would be near the proposed National Hurricane Museum and Science Center.
“We think it is a very good economic development project. We do not have the ability to directly support it, but could help by having our administrative building near the museum,” he said.
Efforts to raise more than $60 million to build the museum are getting under way.
Port and city officials plan to meet again to continue their discussion.
Posted By: tax paying peon On: 6/13/2012
Title: secret deal?
i dont remember reading anything about the port of lake charles making a deal to give up their offices AT THE PORT, did this newspaper ever report on these plans?? how come the first mention of the port giving up their offices is AFTER the city and the port "discuss" the OUTRAGEOUS idea of putting a PALACE ON THE LAKE FRONT FOR WILLIAM RASE????!!!!!! SOUNDS JUST LIKE THE LAKE SMELLS, REAL FISHY.
Posted By: allen sonnier On: 6/11/2012
No port building there matter of fact they should move Wild life and fisheries building from there also, only the tourist bureau should be there ,the rest of the land should be allocated to tourist drawing businesses ?????
Posted By: Austin On: 6/10/2012
No one wants an office building on the most valuable pice of land! There are so many other places to build an office. Why would the city even allow the port (which no one cares about) to take over a piece of land that EVERYONE wants to go to for enjoyment! Everyone in Louisiana as well as Texas would enjoy the Mardi Gras Boardwalk. Their plan is so much more logical. It brings in fun for kids and adults of all ages. It also will bring in tourism revenue to the city. What will an office building give to the people of Lake Charles... Nothing. We all want to have a place on the lake where we can go to have fun and enjoy our city. Mardi gras boardwalk is has the money ready, and they have had this proposal for years. Mayor Randy Roach, Why on Earth would you allow an office building be built on this land when they wrote a proposal less than a week before the deadline. What would this office give to the city and the people... Nothing.
Posted By: Claude On: 6/9/2012
That is just what we need...government office buildings on the most valuable tourism property we have!
Posted By: tax paying peon On: 6/9/2012
Title: what a crock!!
The port signs an "agreement" with the Federales Obama then claim they have to go somewhere??!!!!!! HOW ABOUT USING THE LAND YOU ALREADY HAVE CONTROL OVER???!!!!!! This is just another Royal Government Agency telling the peon taxpayer they want a new Palace On The Lake, with great views and plush EVERYTHING!!!!!
Posted By: JW Miner On: 6/9/2012
Title: Oh Joy
Now that's going to really bring in the tourist to our area. They can take a walk from the famed Hurricane Museum and stroll past the Port Offices. Perhaps the Port will even put in a swingset and a turle petting zoo for the tourist with kids.
Now this is real improvement toward moving for something that will bring people to the lake area; NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By: Darrell On: 6/9/2012
Title: The Port needs to stick to shipping.
We don't need an office building cluttering up the lakefront.. Mayor Roach needs to have some guts and say no to the port and get this madri gras thing going. He and the city have prograstinatiing long enough on lakefront development. The Port is simply trying to muscle into controlling more of the area and get some money out others and i wouldn't be surprised if someone on the city council is on the port's payroll supporting this.