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Council Vote Falls Short In Support Of Cross Bayou Project MOU

Courtesy: Gateway Development Consortium

MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING VOTE –Shreveport’s City Council  met  before  a  standing room only crowd  late yesterday afternoon as attendance was high because of one particular item on the agenda.  The council was to vote on a binding memorandum of understanding between the city and a development group Gateway Consortium – the purpose of which was aimed at entering  a “good-faith negotiation on a master development agreement for an estimated $1 billion-plus dollar project.  Currently Gateway Consortium developers have  proposed  a mixed-use development of living and commercial space,  public buildings,   with sports and recreational venues along Cross Bayou near downtown.  The developers want the city to acquire approximately 88 acres along Cross Bayou and nearby downtown to facilitate the project.

Credit Courtesy: City of Shreveport
Courtesy: City of Shreveport
Shreveport resident Dock Voorhies spoke in support of the Cross Bayou project.

Among those who made public comments in favor of the proposal  was Shreveport resident :Dock Voorhies. He  cited the  potential  for  job creation  and  boost  to the local economy.

"We got to take a chance, we got to invest," Voorhies said. "Shreveport deserves it and the alternative is just not very good. I'm in strong support of this project."

But there were those who expressed skepticism about the proposed development including local physician Dr. Phillip Rozeman

"With this economy I just feel like it's hard to believe there'll be enough people to fill all the added housing and vacant housing and would warn about that," explained Rozeman. "Each of you who believe in 'build it and they will come', you just have to ask, come from where and come for what?"

Credit Courtesy: City of Shreveport
Courtesy: City of Shreveport
Local physician Phillip Rozeman asked council members to consider the glut of vacant homes and job losses in the community.

Rozeman cited a recent business journal’s  report  on Shreveport  job losses and employment opportunities.  At the end of it all the proposed memorandum  of understanding fell one vote shy of getting the council’s approval.  It remains to be seen what the Gateway Consortium plans to do next.  We will update this story as it develops.

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.