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LA PLACE, LA-Two and a half years after signing a “protocol of intent” with the Canadian Commercial Corp. to build a 25,300-acre multi-modal center, the Louisiana Airport Authority is ready to issue a feasibility report to Gov. Kathleen Blanco. The first phase of the transportation hub, supported by industrial and office development, is estimated at $500 million.

If all goes according to plan and approval is granted from the state, the Louisiana Transportation Center’s first phase will result in a 15,000-acre acquisition, construction of a dock and 12,000-foot runway in Ascension Parish. But Glenda Jeansonne, executive director with the Louisiana Airport Authority, says there are a few more steps between here and there.

The governor’s decision will determine if the intermodal and mixed-use project would have enough funding interest and support from the state and private interests to move it forward. Assuming the answer is yes, Jeansonne tells GlobeSt.com that “we’re looking at phasing the entire project over a 30- to 40-year period.” The airport authority is partnering with Ottawa, ON-based Canadian Commercial Corp. on the massive development.

The LTC, which will sprawl across three parishes in Louisiana, has as its goal to provide a global transportation center on the banks of the Mississippi River. The center is intended to move people and goods through a transportation network of roads, rail and water.

Jeansonne says the first part of the process involved a report combining environmental and investment analysis and market interest, which Canadian Commercial Corp. will present to LAA’s commissioners this week. Jeansonne says that, while she can’t speculate on the state’s reaction to the report, she’s confident in all areas, especially the international community’s interest in the project.

One company that has indicated its faith in the project is Red Reef Laboratories International Inc. of Deerfield Beach, FL. In light of the upcoming study and other interest, it has furthered its commitment to planning a large land project in nearby Napoleonville, LA. Red Reef currently is engaged in discussions for potential development with joint venture partner, JDM Capital Corp. of New York City, and potential partnerships to develop research facilities, on-site manufacturing and hotels.

Jeansonne adds if Gov. Blanco gives the okay and financing is secured, the first task will be to acquire acreage for the first phase. “We’re not buying anything, or starting anything, until it’s a go with the governor’s office,” she says.

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