Eddie Hakim giving the city a deadline on project - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Eddie Hakim giving the city a deadline on project

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's no secret that Monroe City leaders and businessman Eddie Hakim don't always see eye-to-eye.

And now Hakim is threatening to develop some land near the Pecanland Mall and let all of the tax dollars go to the parish, instead of the city.

Eddie Hakim owns a piece of property right outside Monroe's city limits and  he said  the city and the I-20 Economic Development Corporation want the land annexed so they can generate tax dollars as soon as the land is developed. But, He said they've been slow to close the deal. Hakim is now giving the city until the end of the month to get the ball rolling or those tax dollars will go to the parish when the land is finally developed.

"The city wanted to put the service road through our property so we offered them the original deal where we donated the land for the road and the city would build the road with curb and gutter," Hakim said.

And Hakim also said he has some serious prospects for development.

"We have two spots sold to a developer in Shreveport putting two hotels on it. I've got three restaurants lined up to go on the property so that is a lot of income that would bring income back into that district,” Hakim said.  

President of the I-20 board Otis Chisley admits the negotiations have taken longer than usual, but they are now working to get the project going.

"There has been some politics. There has been some lack of trust, lack of negotiation skills. There has been some issues we have not been able to resolve in the past, but now we are in the processes of getting all the information so we can do what we need to do so that everything can work out for the benefit of both parties that are involved," Chisley said.

Although Hakim wants to develop this property within the city limits, he said he is stalling on other projects, like a new hotel on Louisiville, because he doesn't like the current administration.

“One month he talks about the city backing a hotel, a convention center that the city cannot afford, and the next month he is not going to do it. So he has sent us messages both ways. He is just too wishy washy for us to invest in this community, until he is gone and we can get someone who can be trusted,” hakim said.   

Hakim said if the city is willing to live up to its end of the bargain he'll break ground right away, with that money benefiting the city of Monroe.

We reached out to the city, but the city's attorney, Nancy Summersgill, said they have no comment. But Chisley said the I-20 board will be moving forward on the project as soon as they get numbers back from the engineers.

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