UPDATE: Three downtown locations centered on with new arena - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

UPDATE: Three downtown locations centered on with new arena

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UPDATE

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The studies show a new arena to replace the aging civic center could cost more than $80 million. And everyone wants to make sure it's built at the best location with the best return on investment.  The study outlines several different possibilities, but the city has narrowed it down to three preferred sites.

Olive, Walnut, Washington and North Third Streets boarder the four block downtown site.

Chef Hans' Gourmet Foods is in the middle of that site and he said he is not surprised by this selection.

"We've heard of different developments and sooner or later, I said, it was going to be something on the river," Chef Hans said.

Another option is the Ouachita site. Layton and Ouachita avenues and South Fifth and South Third streets run along this site.

One proposed plan is to keep the civic center just as it is, except tear down the arena and build a new one.

Joe Brady, who does a lot of work on the south side of Monroe, said he thinks the downtown site is the better choice.

"Personally, I think it is a matter of too much crime down on this end of town and over by the civic center. It would be better if we moved it over by the courthouse," Brady said.

The city also wants to build a hotel and a parking garage adjacent to the new arena. Those two structures will go on the same plot of land as the arena.

UPDATE:

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - KNOE 8 News has learned that the new arena could be located at one of three sites.  

The first site, according to the "Feasibility study of the City of Monroe," has been listed as the Downtown Site.  The arena would be constructed in a 2 square block center with on Walnut Street, Olive Street, North 3rd Street, and Washington Street.  The site would include 2 parking garages, a hotel and a Riverwalk Addition.  The construction would be on the north side of the railroad bridge.

The second site has been deemed the Ouachita Ave. Site.  The arena would be built on the south side of Interstate 20 in a two block radius.  Layton Street, South 5th Street, South 3rd Street, and Ouachita Avenue would frame the venue.  A hotel would be constructed and one large parking garage would be built.

The third site would include demolition of the current Monroe Civic Center arena.  A hotel would be built at the site.  However, the Jack Howard Theatre and other buildings there would remain in tact.  Two parking garages would be built at the site.

According to the feasibility study, the design concept is a Town Square.  The report says, "by definition a town square is an open public place commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings.  Most town squares are hardscapes suitable for open markets, music concerts, political rallies, and other events that require firm ground."

The concept would incorporate private business and open space for other events.

Construction of the arena is estimated at $83,500,000, and could create 970 jobs.

Mayor Jamie Mayo, "It took creativity, teamwork and support at the local, state and federal levels to build our new 21st century airport. As we compete for entertainment and event business with venues to our north, south, east and west, our team will approach this NEW Arena Project with the same level of enthusiasm and creativity. This is the next great project that will benefit our community for years to come. We have multiple site options and many other project variables to consider. I look forward to working with our city council, business leaders, and the entire community in order to develop plans that will allow us to make this happen in the near future."

UPDATE:

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - KNOE 8 News has acquired a copy of the city of Monroe's feasibility study.  

The study says a new arena could cost in upwards of $85 million.

We'll have more information Thursday at 5, 6, and 10.

ORIGINAL STORY:

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - KNOE 8 News has learned that the city of Monroe will move forward with their plans to build a new arena.

At Thursday's State of the City Mayor Jamie Mayo announced that the city will work to approve a measure that a 9,000 to 10,000 seat arena be built.

While the drawings look like there's a location chosen, however, the city is looking at 3 different locations throughout the city.

The mayor also said that funding for the new complex was undetermined.

Check back for more information as it comes available.

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