Westlake mayor attributes city’s growth to schools, parks, affordable housing

Rita LeBleu

Mayor Bob Hardy said Westlake is growing and it’s because of its great schools, parks and recreation department and affordable housing.

“Where else can you buy a $250,000 house on a golf course,” Hardy said.

Three of Westlake’s schools received an A rating from the Louisiana Department of Education.  

“S.P. Arnett Middle School received a ‘B,’ ” Hardy said, “but I don’t think any other Calcasieu Parish middle school received a rating higher than that.”

Hardy said he looks forward to holding the official ribbon cutting ceremony for Veteran’s Memorial Park and Freedom Hall. The new, $1.8 million dollar project is complete and part of Westlake’s Pinederosa Park. State-issued pandemic restrictions were the reason the ribbon cutting has been postponed.          

“I think 150 names have been inscribed on the marble memorials, and we have another 180 to add,” Hardy said.

Difficulty in getting construction materials has delayed construction on The National Golf Club clubhouse, however the course has been busy.

“Right now, it’s the only game in town,” Hardy said.

The National Golf Club of Louisiana, at 1400 National Drive in Westlake, features 14 lakes, 65 bunkers and some challenging greens, and is the centerpiece of a 600-acre master-planned community.

“D.R. Horton has begun construction on phase 2 of Jubilee at West Trace,” Hardy said. “When that’s finished they’re planning to put 300 houses on 90 acres behind the park.”

Villa Westlake Apartments, located at 2900 Westwood Road, will be adding five buildings, an additional 110 units, and the city is in negotiations to bring an urgent care company to Sampson Street.

Unlike Lake Charles, Hardy allowed residents to place RVs  — from FEMA and personally owned — on their property.

Westlake’s most recent development news is the plan to redevelop a quarter-mile of the old downtown area to coincide with the opening of the new land-based casino in Westlake. Eldorado Resorts got the green light from Louisiana Gaming Control Board in 2019 to move its Isle of Capri riverboat casino to dry land, the first operator in the state to win such an approval. Eldorado Resorts completed its $17.3 billion buyout of Caesars Entertainment in the summer of 2020, making it the largest casino owner in the world.

Hardy said he’s received approval to make the old downtown area an economic development district. Investors will receive tax incentives.  

Westlake is through with cleanup/debris pickup, according to Hardy.

“You had five months to get it to the street,” he said. “If you didn’t, you’re responsible for pickup now.”

The city of Westlake cannot use FEMA funds to clean up state and federal roads, that includes La. 378 and Sampson Street.The ribbon cutting for Veterans Memorial Park and Freedom Hall will be postponed until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Rita LeBleu

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