Central is about to get a little larger — by 700 housing units.
The developers of the Village at River Ranch traditional neighborhood development in Lafayette hope to begin work in the late summer or early fall on The Settlement on Shoecreek, a 700-unit TND off Sullivan Road in Central.
The Settlement will feature a variety of apartments, cottages, townhomes and single-family homes spread over 150 acres, along with retail and office space, said Central Mayor Jr. Shelton.
The housing mix has yet to be determined, but Prescott Bailey, of Southern Lifestyle Development, said prices will start in the low to mid-$200,000 range for the smaller townhomes and cottage homes, going up to beyond $500,000 for the larger estate homes.
Southern Lifestyle was founded by Robert Daigle, Rodney Savoy and Robert Gagnard, the original developers of River Ranch, a premier development in Lafayette that has about 750 housing units in which about 3,000 people live.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data released in May, Central had 27,743 residents in 2013 and has seen its population increase by 3.2 percent since 2010. In contrast, the population of Baton Rouge increased by 2.2 percent during the same period. Census figures show Central had just over 10,500 housing units in 2010, making Shoecreek a more than 6 percent gain on those four-year-old statistics.
The developers of Shoecreek currently have about 17 developments underway across Louisiana, including communities such as Sugar Mill Pond and Laurel Grove in Youngsville and The Lakes at Morganfield in Lake Charles.
“We are very excited about Central and the direction it’s heading,” Bailey said. Southern Lifestyle had been looking for property in the area for two years, before coming across the 150-acre site across from the Wal-Mart Supercenter.
“We love this site because of its ease of access onto the Central Thruway and to Hooper Road, both of which are short commutes into Baton Rouge,” Bailey said. “That coupled with its centralized location and great commercial visibility made it very attractive to us. Once we were finally able to put this property together, we knew we had a great location to do a traditional neighborhood development.”
The layout of the development is still being determined but there will be about 100,000 square feet of retail and office space in the development. Talks are underway with potential commercial tenants for The Settlement, including grocery stores, restaurants “and other tenants, which we believe would be fantastic additions to the city of Central,” Bailey said.
The development also will feature amenities such as jogging trails, lakes, parks, pools and a village square for concerts. The entire development is designed to be a walkable community with something to offer children, adults and active seniors, Bailey said.
“We think this is going to be a community that can bring a lot of wonderful things to an already great city,” he said.
Plans are for the development to go before the Central Planning and Zoning Commission in March, Shelton said.
This would be the second traditional neighborhood development to go into Central. Construction has been going on since late 2009 at The Village at Magnolia Square, a 185-acre development on Lovett Road.
Shelton said while he loves Magnolia Square and plans were recently announced to add 43 upscale homes to the development, The Settlement will be more along the lines of River Ranch since the same developers are involved.
In addition to residential development, River Ranch features two hotels, a variety of national and local retailers as well as offices for a number of law firms and banks.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Shelton said.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter @TCB_TheAdvocate.