LAFAYETTE, L.a. — Governor Edwards cut the ribbon on the new Bottle Art Lofts at Four Corners Thursday.
The project is seen as a first step in revitalizing the area and city, parish, and state leaders expressed their excitement over the more than $32 million project bringing 105 new units to Acadiana.
"This is exactly what we need more of not less of across the state of Louisiana," Governor Edwards said.
Other officials agreed.
"This corner now offers hope for a return to a thriving vibrant and safe place for those who live work and travel," said Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory.
"Today we are rejoicing because we did come together — this project is in the right area of Lafayette," said Louisiana Senator Gerald Boudreaux. "It's easy to put them where you already have progress, but when you make the commitment to come to an area that's under-poverished where people are asking for help and you make it happen, that's what Lent is about."
Still, however, some in the Four Corners community tell me they fear this is the start of gentrifying the place they call home.
Artist and poet Barry Sons respectfully disagrees. He moved into his loft in December.
"I don't think they are here to push people out, I mean I don't get that feeling, they are so inclusive with everybody," Sons said. "It's like coming home to ya mama honestly, I don't think they should worry about that — I understand why they're concerned but I don't I think this is just going to help their property values go up."
Sen. Boudreaux echoed this saying this is an important investment into his district, district 24.
"When a community goes through distress, when it goes through businesses that pull out individuals that pull out and decide they don't want to live in that area, that area needs to be re-shocked it has to be revitalized and this project does that, it brings the community back together and shows the investment at every level — state-level, local-level."
While the grand opening was Thursday, developers told KATC the construction project will be fully complete by the end of March.
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