Money allocated for new roads, drainage near sites being developed in Broussard _lowres

 

The city has agreed to spend $3.5 million to widen and build roads that will aid development of a $60 million retail center on U.S. 90 near Ambassador Caffery Parkway.

The money also will pay for drainage upgrades in the area of the retail center and at St. Julien Park, a 122-acre sports complex off St. Nazaire Road currently under construction. The park, which is to cost over $27 million, is scheduled for completion next year.

The planned retail center and St. Julien Park are located within a mile of each other.

“We are preparing for the drastic increase in usage of this area that is expected with the combination of both the opening of the park and the construction of this new retail development,” Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais said.

The City Council approved spending the money Tuesday, city spokeswoman Amy Jones said.

“We have every reason to believe this will be the beginning of many new retail projects in Broussard, and we are doing everything necessary to make sure we continue to invest in our city’s growth,” Langlinais said in a statement.

The retail center — named Acadian Crossing — is being developed by Alabama-based Blackwater Resources LLC. Broussard’s contribution to the development will be widening St. Etienne Road to three lanes and building a street that will connect St. Etienne Road to U.S. 90. The road will cut through the retail center and provide access to the shops.

Blackwater plans to build the 340,000-square-foot center at the corner of U.S. 90 and Ambassador Caffery and open it in summer or fall 2016. Langlinais has said retailers have signed on as tenants, including Kohl’s and Hobby Lobby. Langlinais also said a major grocery store also has signed on, which he didn’t identify.

City revenue from taxes collected at retail businesses has increased in the last 15 years. The $2 million completion of Albertson Parkway over a decade ago paved the way for the roadway’s retail corridor near its connection to U.S. 90. A few years later, the city spent $3.5 million to widen St. Nazaire Road, which led to major retailers Home Depot, Wal-Mart and other stores on the east side of U.S. 90.

According to figures provided by the city, taxable sales have increased over 500 percent in 15 years. In 1999, businesses located in Broussard generated a little over $100 million in sales. In 2014, that figure was approaching $700 million.

The figure far outpaces sales of businesses in Lafayette Parish’s other municipalities, excluding Lafayette. The city with the next highest level of sales is Youngsville, which in 2014 had just over $200 million.