Foundation Submits Proposal for Lease at Pontchartrain Beach

NEW ORLEANS — On July 18, the Pontchartrain Beach Foundation announced it has submitted a proposal to obtain a lease for the Pontchartrain Beach site and develop it into a “passive recreation and ecological education area for the public.” The proposal is a response to the RFQ/RFP issued by the Lakefront Management Authority. The site has been idle since 1983, when the Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park closed.

A new and growing 501c3 organization, PBF was established to “restore, develop and operate Pontchartrain Beach.” It was co-founded by Guy Williams, president of Gulf Coast Bank, and Michael Liebaert, retired managing director of the Azby Fund. As it works to “reopen the Beach to the public as a beautifully designed recreational area that will accommodate a wide range of activities,” the group said it is collaborating with the Lakefront Management Authority, the University of New Orleans, and the Lincoln Beach Foundation.

“I grew up going to Pontchartrain Beach and have fond memories of those days,” said Williams in a press release. “I am working to bring back the beach so younger generations will be able to make their own memories.”

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Other members of the board include Zach Kupperman, founder and CEO of Kupperman Companies; Linda Delaney, formerly of WYES-TV; and Eugene Joanen, CEO of Balance Consulting.

“New Orleanians need and deserve a world-class beach,” said Kupperman. “Bringing back Pontchartrain Beach will serve as a huge quality of life amenity for our residents and as a catalyst for jobs and economic development opportunities.” 

The PBF and Dana Brown & Associates developed a master plan for “restoring and enhancing” Pontchartrain Beach. If awarded the lease to the site, PBF said it will “conduct additional site analysis, establish a public outreach and engagement program, and begin engineering waterside improvements and designing landside improvements, with the beach opening to the public in approximately four years.” 

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Project supporters include the UNO Research & Technology Foundation, New Orleans & Company, the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, the New Orleans Botanical Garden, and Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company.

The Lakefront Management Authority Recreation/Subdivision Committee will host a meeting about the project at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19 in the Lakefront Airport Terminal Building’s Second Floor Conference Centre. 

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