NATIONALS IN NEW ORLEANS?
Could the Cajun Nationals return to Louisiana? If one investment group has their way this could come to pass in 12 to 15 months.
The New Orleans city government’s Industrial Development Board gave preliminary approval last weekend for two local developers to create a national event potential drag strip. According to the Times – Picayune, the $36 million project would be financed primarily with tax-exempt bonds that would be paid off with revenue from the operation.
Developer Eugene Green said the drag strip could generate $6 million dollars in revenue and help “jump-start” that area’s economy during the post-Katrina era.
Financing is the largest hurdle for the project.
Lead developer Gilbert Smith is considering a 444-acre site in eastern New Orleans as a primary location because it is an undeveloped area that would not disturb any home owners or businesses. He could also end up with a metro location.
The initial location is marshy and will need a lot of fill and preparation.
The financial breakdown of the $36 million budget is $13 million to clear the land, building the track will be $11 million and the remaining $12 million will cover the land and related expenses.
The board voted 7-0 for preliminary approval of the project. That enables developers to ask the State Bond Commission to authorize the issuance of bonds to cover nearly the full amount of the projected cost.
A commission approval of the project will send the developers back to the Industrial Development Board for final approval.