Here’s who submitted proposals to develop Lafayette’s old courthouse complex

Posted at 12:07 PM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-17 13:07:50-04

Five development teams have submitted proposals to redevelop the vacant federal courthouse complex in Lafayette, a project that’s long been regarded as a needed catalyst to revitalize the city’s downtown neighborhood.

The proposals include redevelopment teams, real estate firms and a nonprofit.

Architecture Urbanism Interiors

This group is a team that includes the following:

  • New Orleans developers: Tara Hernandez, JCH Properties +, and Tony Gelderman, KCT Real Estate Ventures
  • Designers: Trapolin-Peer Architects, New Orleans; Architects Southwest, Lafayette
  • Consultants: Richard J. Roth and Carli Simpson, Roth Law Firm, New Orleans; real estate specialist Hamilton "Hammy" Davis, Lafayette; Charles Landry, Fishman Haygood, New Orleans; Gabrielle Begue, Clio Associates, New Orleans

Some of the past projects included in this proposal include the Blue Plate Artists Lofts in New Orleans and the city’s World Trade Center renovations. Architect Southwest has been involved in a number of major projects in Lafayette, including the new student union at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

The team proposed four alternatives for the site that incorporate all, some or none of the buildings in the courthouse complex. They also propose to create an Economic Development District for downtown. They also propose a 99-year, 2 percent sales and use tax and a 2 percent hotel occupancy tax to help fund downtown projects and a new parking garage.

Read the full proposal here.

Community Foundation of Acadiana

CFA is a nonprofit that administers charitable foundations for people and entities. Through the organization’s Louisiana Real Estate Foundation, CFA developed and owns the Ascension Episcopal School’s private campuses in River Ranch and Youngsville.

The organization admits it has no experience or history in urban redevelopment or mixed-use development, and it does not name the team it would enlist to fulfill the project’s needs nor list specific plans for the site. But according to its proposal, CFA sees this project as a way to "transform" the organization so that it could become more involved in projects of this magnitude in the future.

CFA in December submitted a proposal to the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (read that here) to redevelop the complex to house CGI, Waitr and One Acadiana at the courthouse site and residences at the old police station, but such specifics were not listed in its response to LCG’s request for proposals.

Read the full proposal here.

HRI Properties

The New Orleans real-estate company says it’s developed more than $2.5 billion worth of projects since the early 1980s. Much of the work has involved branded and independent hotels throughout the U.S., including for chains like Hilton and Hyatt. The company has also developed more than four dozen apartment properties throughout Louisiana, but mainly in New Orleans.

HRI also developed Lafayette’s Evangeline Apartments for seniors on Jefferson Street and the School Days apartments for seniors in New Iberia, both of which renovated historic buildings into residential spaces.

They propose relocating Cite Des Arts to the courthouse building, repurposing the existing courtrooms into theater space, as well as a mixed-income apartment community "with a leasing preference for artists." They propose a culinary institute in the old police station, with the former public-access television building to serve as an office for a nonprofit, foundation or One Acadiana.

Read the full proposal here.

Place de Lafayette and Weinstein Nelson Development

This team of firms would include:

  • Developers: Ed Krampe, III, and Jim Poché, Place de Lafayette; Dyke Nelson, Weinstein Nelson Developers, Baton Rouge
  • Business consultant: Kam Movassaghi
  • Partners: Philippe Prouet, Poché Prouet Associates; Bryant Poche, Southwest Mechanical; Danny Nugier, Southwest Real Estate

Place de Lafayette has redeveloped the building on East Vermilion Street that today houses the French Press and Hub City Cycles, as well as the mixed-use property on South Buchanan Street that’s home to a few lofts and a couple of businesses and the Perficient building on Jefferson Street, among others downtown and both in and out of the state. 

The team’s master plan would re-purpose the three courthouse buildings to house 25,500 square feet of commercial space and 68 apartment units.

Read the full proposal here.

The Federal

The groups involved in this proposal include:

  • Developer/architect: Wisznia Architecture + Development, New Orleans
  • Architect: Stephen Ortego, SO / STUDIO
  • Landscape architect: Shannon Blakeman, CARBO Landscape Architecture, Baton Rouge
  • General contractor: The Lemoine Company

Selected projects in this proposal include, among others, mixed-use projects in New Orleans and out-of-state, as well as the contract work for Acadiana Center for the Arts and Baton Rouge’s IBM building, the architecture for two loft properties in downtown Lafayette and the landscape architecture at the Lafayette Regional Airport.

The team’s plan would include redeveloping the old library into office space and courthouse into a food hall and apartments, building two new five-story, mixed-use buildings, an outdoor dining plaza and an "iconic" pedestrian corridor through the complex.

Read the full proposal here.