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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- If you've got a million dollars and some change, a state-owned ferry terminal could be yours.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is auctioning off the Jackson Avenue Ferry Terminal.

'I do remember it and I do remember riding it. I do remember going across it in a car,' said Irish Channel resident Sylvester Andrews of the old ferry crossing.

Andrews would regularly take his mother on trips to the West Bank. Now the state-owned facility sits quiet at Jackson Avenue and Tchoupitoulas Street. State transportation officials say it hasn't run since 2009.

The 165-linear feet of Mississippi River frontage is heading to the auction block on Thursday morning.

'Let 'em have it. Let 'em have it. We're not doing anything with it and we can make a little extra money,' said Andrews in support of the terminal sale.

LaDOTD is asking for a minimum bid of $1.65 million, which includes the ferry terminal building, a covered pedestrian bridge, pier, vehicle bridge and all buildings. Back in the late '70s, architect Lynn Mitchell tells Eyewitness News one of biggest challenges of designing the terminal was getting pedestrians up over that flood wall, a railroad track and then down to the ferry.

'This has been a total redo. We've literally replaced all the wood,' said local developer Matthew Redding.

Redding and his family started redeveloping property in the neighborhood back in 1999 and officially moved in after Hurricane Katrina. The West Bank native says this section of the Irish Channel has come a long way, and he welcomes new development.

'I think it's a good thing for these neighborhoods because they've been abandoned for so long and they've been falling down. Because of the flight that happened from the city,' said Redding.

He is familiar with the ferry terminal auction, but hoped it would remain part of the city's long-term riverfront plan.

However, it appears the fate of the New Orleans landmark now rests in a new owner's hands.

'I think it's probably not the best use of the property. I was hopeful that when the riverfront was going to get redeveloped, it would extend all the way to this end,' said Redding.

It's not too late to a place a bid on the Jackson Avenue Ferry Terminal. Interested parties have to go in person to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Auditorium in Baton Rouge.

The deadline to place a bid is 10 a.m. Thursday. For more information, click here.

This story was developed with our coverage partners Uptown Messenger.com.

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