Kenner’s Laketown targets 40-acre, $ 450 million recreational and residential development | Local politics
In what would be its most radical transformation since the opening of the Treasure Chest Casino nearly 30 years ago, Kenner’s Laketown could become home to a 40-acre, $ 450 million “destination resort” that will include condominiums, a hotel, restaurants, theaters and a marina, officials said Friday.
The new development, which is led by Atlantis Gaming, a Las Vegas-based company, was announced Friday at a press conference with Atlantis CEO Donald Bailey and heads of Kenner, Jefferson Parish and the ‘State.
“This is a big day for the town of Kenner,” said Mayor Ben Zahn.
The Laketown project is the second announced in recent months for areas around Lake Pontchartrain. In St. Tammany, voters will decide later this year whether or not to authorize a $ 325 million casino complex outside of Slidell, near the twin spans of Interstate-10.
Construction at the Laketown site could begin as early as next year, Bailey said. When completed, there will be approximately 40 acres of recreation and living space, much of which will be built on eight specially constructed concrete barges. Funding has been largely secured, he added.
Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn is in talks with a Las Vegas-based development company about leasing a portion of the Laketown area near the Trea…
The project was first launched three years ago, when renderings posted on Bailey’s social media site showed his vision. But progress slowed as developers worked on logistics and faced COVID delays.
One of the biggest hurdles was lifted during the 2020 legislative session, when a bill from Rep. Debbie Villio, R-Kenner, extended the maximum time allowed for the state to lease the bottom of the lake. in Laketown from five to 99 years old.
It is not known how far the company managed to obtain such a lease.
A few other questions remain. A key element is how the existing Treasure Chest casino will be reflected in the new development. Kenner City Council recently approved a new lease for the casino that will allow it to move from its current boat to a nearby land location. Boyd Gaming, who operates the casino, has yet to comment exactly on his plans.
The Laketown site first caught Bailey’s attention in 2018 when Bill Dares, a businessman who lives in Kenner and had worked with Bailey on other projects, told him about it. Bailey said he visited and was intrigued.
Atlantis Gaming video of Kenner’s Laketown plans
Friday’s ad featured a pair of animated videos illustrating what may be to come: They showed versions of upscale condominiums and upscale restaurants, retail stores and the marina.
The press conference also featured two of Atlantis’ most prominent members of the board: NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon and former boxing world champion Roy Jones Jr. Both expressed their enthusiasm for the project.
Jones, who now works as a boxing promoter, said he believed the Pontchartrain Center, where Friday’s press conference was held, was a natural place for big fights. Moon said he liked the potential of Laketown.
The site could also include new games in addition to the Treasure Chest Casino. Gaming technology is Atlantis’ core business, Bailey said, and in other places they’ve been involved in sports betting.
But whether this will happen to the new development depends on the state’s rules and regulations for sports games in the future, he said.
The ground could be opened on the first projects next year; then it will probably take four to five years to build the first phases, he said. The company is working with the state to lease the land and will still need to obtain all necessary permits from the city, parish and state, Zahn said.
Kenner officials are ready for that to happen.
“It’s a dream to see a bustling lakefront,” said Jefferson City Councilor Dominick Impastato, whose district includes most of Kenner. “This is history in the making.”