On Tuesday, May 22, the Shreveport City Council will be asked to vote on an MOU- a Memorandum of Understanding- on a Cross Bayou Development Plan fronted by a company called Gateway Development Consortium. (GDC).
GDC says their MOU comes with no strings attached, but developers say it is akin to asking someone to go steady with you. Once you are in a committed relationship, other suitors tend to back away. In an interview with The Shreveport Times, GDC principle Larry English made a similar analogy saying that the MOU was not a marriage; ‘it is an engagement.’
The GDC Cross Bayou project possibly includes such things as a Charter or Technology School with a promised 350 employees, 5,000 mixed-rate housing units, a large new state or municipal office building, retail businesses, ‘hard banking’ (which will make it possible to actually get to the bayou, which is now down a steep incline), a sports complex and other amenities. GDC states that the investment will be $1 billion over 10 years.
Details about project funding, development history, the amount of taxpayer money that will be requested, how this new development will interact with historic downtown Shreveport, what will happen to the A-Truss Bridge and Shreveport Water Works Museum, and other important questions are still to be answered.
There has been a large amount of media coverage. Here is just a sampling-
The Shreveport City Council meets in regular work session on Monday, May 21 at 3:30 and in regular session Tuesday, May 22 at 3:30. All meetings are held at Government Plaza, 505 Travis Street, and are open to the public. Members of the public are allowed to sign up to speak and will be given three minutes each to address the Council/Mayor.