Killona land soon to be transformed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / December 27, 2000

KILLONA – The large tract of open land lying just upriver from the tiny town of Killona will soon be transformed into a bustling center for commerce and industry.

“It was a very ripe for development,” said real estate developer Harry R. “Ray” Coleman Jr., who bought the 2,769.6-acre site, which sprawls from the Mississippi River to well beyond Louisiana Highway 3127, in August 1997.Several tracts have already been re-sold for development, especially the 64-acre site for the new St. Charles Parish Correctional Center, now nearing completion. What remains, though, is potential for everything from a large major industry to warehousing “It’s high and dry and has great commercial potential,” Coleman said. “It wasn’t brain surgery.”One of the greatest needs for the commercial and industrial community, especially in south Louisiana, is open land with large, expansive tracts of it. This site, formerly owned by Koch Industries, rests on the old Trinity and Mary plantations and has longColeman himself, 51, hails from Greenville, Miss., and now resides in Memphis, Tenn. “When I bought the property, everybody asked me what I was going to do with it,” he recalled. Most couldn’t imagine the potential.”In 10 years the river between New Orleans and Baton Rouge will look like Amsterdam or Rotterdam. There won’t be a vacant spot left,” he said.Plans are well under way to construct a container ship dock at the batture. With two railroads crossing the property and two state highways with Interstate 310 only minutes away, the site is a natural for the shipping industry.Coleman also plans to remember his neighbors, the town of Killona. He has donated the playground which rests on his property to the parish’s recreation and parks department. A site is also being donated for a church and cemetery, and two convenience storeHowever, within six weeks, Coleman hopes to announce a new, major industry on the 1,000-acre front site facing River Road.

Coleman said that throughout his work with the property, the parish’s Department of Economic Development, and its director, Corey Faucheux, have been enthusiastic and helpful.

“Corey has been a diamond,” Coleman added. “The parish is really lucky to have an employee like him.”Among the services provided include the composition of a promotional booklet, complete with zoning information on various sites, maps and information on the parish’s resources for business and industry.

“I’m really not a developer,” Coleman insisted. “I just like to sell land.”

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