Author: John Settle

Proposed Cross Bayou project has more questions than answers

The recent announcement of new possible development on Cross Bayou has raised more questions than answers. In a presentation to the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Paul Pratt pitched a $1 billion ten year public/private, mixed-use development on Cross Bayou. The information released by a public relations firm for the Pratt development group was long on hype and short on details. A short list of inquiries includes the following. Pratt is an executive with Chesapeake Energy. What role does Chesapeake have in the project? What roles do Theron Jackson and Curtis Joseph have, and how does this affect their...

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Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler’s biggest setback as mayor was the defeat by the Shreveport City Council of her proposed sports complex for Cross Bayou. Now a private group is quietly making the rounds with The “downtown crowd” pushing a new development for this area. The December minutes of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) show that Paul Pratt, an executive with Chesapeake Energy, made a presentation to the DDA board for a proposed $1 billion, ten-year public/private, mixed-use development on Cross Bayou. The partnership would be with Gateway Development Corporation and would consist of local and out-of-state investors. The City...

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In the “good ole days”, tax renewals for basic government services were generally a slam dunk for voter approval. Those days have changed, as witnessed by the defeat of several Caddo Commission renewals last year. Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler has called a special election on April 28 to renew ad valorem taxes. These five-year renewals for basic city services expired on December 31, 2017. Tyler decided to not seek these renewals last fall. This decision could be a big mistake, both for the renewals and her upcoming bid to be re-elected for a second term as mayor. The Tyler...

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Tyler Will Soon Introduce Controversial Wireless Cell Tower Ordinances

Much to the chagrin of the wireless technology business community, Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler is determined to introduce ordinances that many believe have not been fully vetted. The 80 pages (plus) of new ordinances will regulate the installation and operation of wireless technology facilities (WTFs), commonly referred to as cell towers. The industry stakeholders were emailed a second draft of the proposals after hours on Thursday Feb 2. This left very little time to analyze this information before a 10:00 AM conference on Monday Feb 5. It was apparent from the “get go” that the stakeholder meeting was a...

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Moody’s Downgrade of Shreveport Bond Rating Reflects Major Economy Challenges

In all the continuing hubbub over the pros and cons of issuing bonds for a sports complex on Cross Bayou the stark reality that Shreveport’s general obligation bond rating was recently lowered by Moody’s Investors Service should not be overlooked. Although the downgrade was only from A2 to A3, the credit opinion offered limited optimism for the City’s current economy while addressing significant credit issues. Moody’s, which is the bond industry benchmark rating service, assigned a “negative outlook” due to weakness in the energy sector, the lack of economic development, and increased operational costs including the funding of substantial...

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