It’s the $64 thousand dollar question.
Its been asked from the first day the latest development project has been announced. Its yet to be answered.
Gateway Development Consortium rolled out their initial proposal for a massive $1 billion development of Cross Bayou Pointe last year. As expected the plans for the project have morphed. The latest press release has a $1.5 billion price tag. With an increase in scope from 60 to 80 acres:
The most recent plans include:
State office building
Criminal justice complex
Courthouse and administrative buildings
5000 housing units that include 3 apartment/condo towers
Pedestrian bridge connecting both sides of the river
Civil war and civil rights museum.
What is known that major bucks will be needed from the city of Shreveport, Caddo Parish and the Red River Waterway Commission to assemble the land (5 property owners), clean up the environmental problems, and put infrastructure in place. The initial projected investment of public dollars was over $46 million. What the new price tag will be has yet to be released.
This area is in a federal opportunity zone that provides substantial tax benefits to developers. Dirt must be turned by year end. And before that can happen the State of Louisiana , the City of Shreveport, Caddo Parish, and the Red River Waterway commission will need to sign up to provide needed assistance.
Needless to say, there are big mountains to climb for Gateway.
The city of Shreveport has many financial challenges that will probably have a much higher priority that this proposed public private development. Recent emergency repairs to a broken sewer line will cost the city more than $2 million. And due to excessive rainfall and shifting subsoils, more of these repair expenses are expected.
Although the parish is in a much better economic standing, commission dollars have rarely been concentrated in one small area. The parish does own a parcel of the bayou.
The Water Commission has responsibility for 7 northwest Louisiana parishes. The State of Louisiana rarely rents buildings versus owning them.
Gateway has big dreams. State and local taxpayers may not share them.