Shreveport council shows support for Cross Bayou development

Shreveport City Council members gave a sign of support for the hotly debated Cross Bayou development at its Tuesday, May 22 meeting.

Council members debated a resolution that would have authorized a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with developers Gateway Development Consortium (GDC) to build a $1 billion mixed-use district on the Red River just off downtown Shreveport. 

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Council members ultimately voted 4-3 to approve an amended version of the resolution that supports the mayor’s authority to execute any future agreements and establish provisions for the developers.

GDC released an official statement Wednesday morning that said they are “pleased with the Shreveport City Council 4-3 vote for the memorandum of understanding regarding the Cross Bayou Point development project. We commend the council for its confidence in allowing our team to being the process of moving forward.”

Tyler made it clear that she does not support the MOU currently.

“I’m not going to speak to the amendment until I can see what it says, but I do want to make it clear, very clear, this is not my legislation,” Tyler said.

Although non-binding, Tyler noted she wants more information before making a decision on the MOU. But she said she does support the development of the land as a whole.

“I made it clear that I would not be a leader on this effort,” she told council members. “I am supporting developers that want to develop Cross Bayou.”

The six items addressed in the amendment are items the council has been questioned on and want GDC to address.

“(These) are things that GDC must do in terms of moving forward with a potential MOU. Those six things are things we are getting feedback about,” ” District F Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch said.

The developers hope for a public-private partnership for its Cross Bayou Point project, saying most of the money would come from the private sector. GDC’s plans include an entertainment district, municipal complex, school, housing and more. 

The proposal came months after a similar bid from Mayor Ollie Tyler, which included a sports complex to house the NBA New Orleans Pelicans G League team affiliate, failed.

GDC announced in May it has received the support of the National Association of Minority Contractors as well as the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and the Shreveport Bossier African-American Chamber of Commerce for the development. The Shreveport Downtown Development Authority has been vocal about needing more information before making a decision to support the project.

In April, former Chesapeake official Paul Pratt left the company and joined GDC full-time as a principal to help broker support for the development. While local architect Mike McSwain joined as lead architect for the project.