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Lafayette council approves three new cultural districts

Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 17:15:05-04

UPDATE: The Lafayette City-Parish Council approved three new cultural districts at Tuesday night’s meeting.

This will allow historical buildings in the Oil Center, the University Avenue corridor and the Freetown area to get tax credits on renovations.

The resolution passed 7-2. Councilmen Jared Bellard and William Theriot opposed the measure without further discussion during the meeting.

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Lafayette Consolidated Government is proposing three new cultural districts.

The areas up for discussion include the Oil Center, the University Avenue corridor and the Freetown area in Lafayette.

If the council approves the resolution at Tuesday’s meeting, the next step is to submit an application to the State.

LCG is hopeful the city will be able to take advantage of the State’s historic tax credits on buildings 50 years or older within cultural districts. Lafayette currently has two cultural districts…Downtown and the McComb Vezay neighborhood.

“It’s a really effective and inexpensive way for Lafayette to unlock some of those incentives and benefits for redeveloping and reinvestment in some of those areas,” said Kate Durio with Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux’s office.

The cultural district designations help developers while revitalizing neighborhoods.

“It could be a rental house or it could be a commercial space retail. It doesn’t have to be a culture-related business, but you could get up to 20% for renovations on that building,” Durio said.

Shoppers would also see a benefit if they purchase original artwork sold within the cultural district. Local sales tax would be exempt.

“We’re getting a lot more than we’re giving with that, but the original artworks is clearly defined by the state,” Durio said. “Anything that’s original in nature or handmade, those things qualify and have to be sold within the cultural district.”