LAFAYETTE — A new grocery store, gas station and restaurant are being considered for vacant land at the Louisiana Avenue exit off Interstate 10, an decade-old interchange that has been slow to fulfill the promise of spurring growth in north Lafayette.
But growth in that area has been happening.
City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux announced the proposed new developments Tuesday at his inaugural “State of North Lafayette” forum, the north side’s answer to City-Parish President Joey Durel’s annual “State of the Parish” speech.
The Louisiana Avenue exit boasts a large retail center anchored by Target and JC Penney southwest of the interchange, but the other three corners have remained vacant since the interstate exit came online in 2003.
Boudreaux said that might soon change.
Super 1 Foods is eyeing a site north of I-10, he said, and there is a planned development south of the interstate with space being considered for a new restaurant and a RaceTrac gas station.
“I think it’s very promising. Once that domino starts to have that effect, I think it all comes,” Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux also said city-parish government has begun early discussions about possibly extending a service road just south of I-10 from Louisiana Avenue to Shadow Bluff Drive, a project that could nurture further development at the interchange.
The proposed commercial developments are still in the early stages.
RaceTrac applied for a permit last month from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which must sign off because the company needs to fill in about 3 acres of wetlands and clear another acre of wetlands for the 11-acre development.
The site, which is south of I-10 and east of Louisiana Avenue, would include a gas station and a nearby 41,000-square-foot building being considered for a restaurant, according to plans submitted to the Corps.
Little information was available on the proposed Super 1 Foods development north of I-10.
Cecil Trahan, a broker for the owners of the site, confirmed that a parcel is under contract with the grocery chain, but Trahan said he was not at liberty to provide any more details at this time.
The talk of new projects at the Louisiana Avenue exit comes as businesses and developers have been paying more attention to the north side in recent years in what Lafayette Economic Development Authority President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux characterized as an “economic renaissance” in north Lafayette.
Halliburton opened a 200,000-square-foot plant on a 40-acre site on West Pont des Mouton Road in 2012, a major win for the area.
Couret Farms, a mixed commercial and residential development that includes one of the parish’s three new charter schools, is taking shape on 125 acres off West Pont des Mouton.
It’s created by the same team behind Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville and River Ranch in Lafayette.
“Things are being done,” Boudreaux said. “There is opportunity in north Lafayette.”
In addition to private development, several major road projects are moving forward in the area, including the $22 million project to widen East Pont des Mouton Road that is underway and planned projects to extend Louisiana Avenue to Gloria Switch Road and to extend North St. Antoine Street from I-10 to West Pont des Mouton.
“The natural progression for the parish is now this part of town,” City-Parish President Joey Durel said.