Plans to re-develop the old federal court house, AOC building and old police station are moving forward.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Lafayette City-Parish Council unanimously approved a $1.4 million contract between the city and the developers. That money, going directly into the city’s general fund instead of an escrow account as originally proposed.
After months of negotiations, the buildings sitting on the corner of Jefferson and Main St. will soon be converted into a mixed-use space.
For years, these building have been sitting in the prime area of downtown, vacant and unused.
The proposal would build a total of 68 apartments in three buildings, along with commercial space.
To read more on the proposal, click here.
“One of the biggest economic drivers of the city is the ability to have urban living. A lot of younger people want to live in an urban development where they can do everything they want to do within a walking distance,” said EJ Krampe, one of the developers with Place de Lafayette for the project.
The bid was awarded earlier this year to Place de Lafayette and the Weinstein Group, who have created OFCH, LLC as the joint development company.
Council members and the administration believe this development will serve as a catalyst to bring more businesses to downtown.
“I mean the development that’s going to occur because of this project, it’s going to get that residential component. It’s going to show banks and other lending institutions that they should lend money for projects similar to this and I think we’re going to see an explosion from this,” said Mayor-President Joel Robideaux.
And people who went up to the podium agreed they’re excited to see something finally being done.
“The Downtown Development Authority fully supports the re-development of the old court house site. Investments and improvements in our downtown make all of our bottom lines better,” said the CEO of DDA, Anita Begnaud.
Construction must begin by July 1, 2019 and finished in December 2020.
If not, then the contract outlines the developers will have to pay $20,000 per month that it is not finished.
“This puts to rest, having this dormant piece of property for 20 years sitting on the main street of downtown,” said Robideaux.