Edwards, Port NOLA kept in dark about $445 million Avondale deal

Brandy Christian, Port NOLA president & CEO, and Gov. John Bel Edwards. (Courtesy Port NOLA)

The Port of South Louisiana’sĀ agreement to buy the former Avondale shipyard for nearly $450 million was inked without discussions with other area port officials, civic leaders or Gov. John Bel Edwards, who says he’s withholding support for the deal until a number of questions are resolved, reports NOLA.com.

Edwards, long a cheerleader for redevelopment at the 254-acre site, wasn’t told of the acquisition until after the port’s board of commissioners had already voted to approve the deal on Jan. 9.

Neither were officials from the Port of New Orleans, which is a separate state entity from the Port of South Louisiana but a critical partner in developing infrastructure for global trade along the Mississippi River.

The deal is contingent on approval of hundreds of millions of dollars in state-backed bonds, and would represent a major expansion of the port, extending its reach beyond St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes into Jefferson Parish, which is within the Port of New Orleans’ jurisdiction. Read the entire story.