Urban Land Institute study to be conducted in St. Mary Parish

Posted at 10:41 AM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 11:41:39-04

St. Mary Excel, an organization of the St. Mary Parish Foundation, has commissioned a land use study to be performed by the Urban Land Institute. The goal is to learn how the areas of Morgan City and the town of Berwick can diversify the area’s economy using its major waterways to attract and grow industry.

Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit research and education organization with 40,000 members world-wide. Members are developers, engineers, architects, urban planners, bankers, investors, economic development specialists, market analysts, land use professionals, and real estate agents. 

An Advisory Services Panel will visit during a five-day period beginning on Sunday, September 16. Panelists will focus on challenges of land use, economic development, real estate, urban planning, design, land economics, and public policy. 

After touring an assigned area, the panel will present oral recommendations at the close of the on-site assignment. They will offer conclusions on Friday, September 21. A written report, with photographs and drawings, will be provided to St. Mary Excel within 60 days of the panel’s visit. 

St. Mary Excel has secured more than $135,000 to fund this public-private partnership. 

In 2017, the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce and St. Mary Parish Tourism Commission performed a quality of life survey for Morgan City and Berwick. A majority of those surveyed said they do not agree the area is doing enough to:

  • attract businesses and entrepreneurial opportunities (64.4%)
  • provide job opportunities that support young people staying in the area (73.8%)
  • attract jobs that pay well and offer benefits (68.0%)

Several cities throughout Louisiana have commissioned an Urban Land Institute study such as New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Charity Hospital and the Claiborne Area Planned Development, Baton Rouge downtown revitalization, Lafayette downtown development, and Moncus Park in Lafayette.  

L-R front row: Cindy Cutrera, Port of Morgan City; Dean Duplantis, Hellenic Inc.; Dr. Alice Pecoraro, St. Mary Excel; Dr. Monica Mancuso, St. Mary Excel
L-R back row: Duval Arthur Jr., Town of Berwick; Mac Wade, Port of Morgan City; Brian Thorguson, St. Mary Parish Foundation; Patrick Hebert, St. Mary Parish Government.  (Not Pictured: Mayor Frank "Boo" Grizzaffi, City of Morgan City)