Downtown New Iberia recognized on National Register of Historic - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Downtown New Iberia recognized on National Register of Historic Places

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A hidden gem in Acadiana, the Historic District in New Iberia is finally getting the recognition locals believe it deserves.

"We just received word that we got this National Historic District recognition, something we've been working on since I got here in January," says Mayor Freddie Decourt of New Iberia.

For the owners of more than 80 buildings like the ones on Main Street, this means a 20 percent tax credit for renovations, combined with the 20 percent tax credit they could already get from the state register of historic places.

"So if a developer comes in and develops one of these buildings that qualify in our historic district, they'll receive a 40 percent tax credit. So it's a great great incentive for new development for people to come in, our local people to take advantage of it as well as larger developers," says Mayor Decourt.

The designation for these historic sites goes into effect right away, and both local and regional developers have already reached out to the mayor with new ideas. Current business owners are also coming up with ideas to spruce up the area.

"We have a courtyard in the back that we'd love to kind of fix up and do something with," says Denise Hebert, owner at Blue Butterfly Boutique on Main Street.

"Even if you're not directly affected, if a building on your block takes advantage of these tax credits and re-develops or turns itself into something else through an adapted reuse project you're going to get more customers, you're going to have more traffic on your block," says Decourt.

From everyone we met with in New Iberia, the widespread belief is only good can come of this.

"We get so many really really genuine good compliments about our downtown being so pretty so if we can just keep enhancing it, we have a little gem here I think," says Hebert.

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