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Lawsuit Stalls $1.5 Billion Cross Bayou Project Proposal

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Courtesy: Mike McSwain Architecture Firm

RESTRAINING ORDER -  The $1.5 Billion dollar proposed  mixed-use development  for  Cross Bayou Point near downtown Shreveport has hit a snag.  A temporary  restraining   order  was  filed  in  a  lawsuit  Monday  by  former  attorney  and  political  watcher  John  Settle.  The  proposal  was  to  be  brought up  before  the  city  council  under  legislation  by  councilman  Willie Bradford  who  proposed  a  binding memorandum  of  understanding  between  the  city and the developers: Gateway Consortium. The development  group  wants  the  city  to  acquire  approximately  88  acres of  land  along  Cross  Bayou and  in  nearby  areas  to  facilitate  the  project.

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Credit Courtesy: City of Shreveport
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Courtesy: City of Shreveport
Willie Bradford, Shreveport City Councilman - District A

Upon  learning  of  the  lawsuit,  council members were  advised by the city attorney to not comment on it. Howeve,  during open session Councilman Bradford  shared some frustrations.

"Somebody come along and say 'we want to try to help this city' and then we get resistance,"Bradford said. "Because everything that has been said and e-mailed to us is malarkey, it's misguided."

Bradford  was  responding  to  public criticism  about  the  proposal  including  using  unspent  bond  funds  to  purchase  property   that  is  not  part  of  Cross  Bayou   and  then  enter  some  type  of  arrangement  with  the  Gateway  group  so  the  project  could  proceed.   The  council  would  vote on  Bradford's  proposed  agreement  at  its next agenda  session  on  January  28  but  Settle wants a judge  to  decide  if  it’s  legal  for  the  city  to  use unspent  bond  money  to  buy  properties  for  the project  that  are  not  along  Cross  Bayou  before  any  further  council  action  could  be taken.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.