A 536-acre site in Acadia Parish has been added to south-central Louisiana’s growing inventory of state-certified development-ready sites.
The addition of the land greatly increases the number of certified sites and acreage that One Acadiana and other groups can market to lure industry to the region.
One Acadiana, a regional economic development agency based in Lafayette, announced Friday the site has been certified by Louisiana Economic Development, the business development arm of state government.
One Acadiana, Joe Freeland, who owns the land, and the Crowley Chamber of Commerce pursued the state certification. The acreage, located along Interstate 10 and called the “Freeman Site,” greatly expands One Acadiana’s marketable industrial sites.
“The 536-acre site brings the total certified acreage in our region from approximately 219 (acres) to 755 acres, a 245 percent increase,” Crowley chamber President Amy Thibodeaux said.
State-certified sites must meet certain criteria: The site must encompass at least 25 acres and undergo soil analysis and environmental tests. It also must have infrastructure such as electricity, water and sewerage or approved engineering plans to install utilities within 180 days of certification.
The lack of sites ready for development in Acadiana has long been cited as one of the reasons south-central Louisiana lags behind other areas of the state in luring industry and jobs. In October 2014, as the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce was growing from a Lafayette Parish-only organization to its current nine-parish domain, then-Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret noted the lack of certified sites in the area.
“There is huge untapped potential” in Acadiana, Moret said at the time.
And a recently completed analysis of the parishes within One Acadiana — Lafayette, Acadia, Vermilion, Jefferson Davis, Evangeline, Iberia, St. Mary, St. Martin and St. Landry — also showed the region needed more sites.
One Acadiana President and CEO Jason El Koubi, who worked 10 years with Moret at the state department and at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, has said adding development-ready sites for the agency to market is a priority.