Work has started on a long-discussed 848-acre mixed-use development in St. Tammany Parish that will contain a technical college campus, retail town center, business offices, apartments, town and garden homes, single-family home sites and a community recreation center.
Tamanend, proposed by Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Development Co., would be north of LaCombe and Interstate 12, putting it within a 15-minute drive to Mandeville, Slidell and Covington and 45 minutes from New Orleans.
“Years of planning have gone into Tamanend and Weyerhaeuser couldn’t be more excited to see this community begin to take shape in St. Tammany Parish,” said Scott Gilbert, project manager for Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Development Co.
Gilbert said the roots of Tamanend go back to about 2008, when the company donated a 53-acre tract to St. Tammany Parish that would be used as an educational campus, including as a new home for Northshore Technical Community College. “It was actually permitted, but it has been on hold for several years,” he said.
But once St. Tammany officials moved forward with the site for the community college, that led to work beginning on the adjacent 800-acre tract. The plan is to have the basic infrastructure for Tamanend, including the main boulevards, water and sewer service, completed by mid-2015, Gilbert said.
WREDCO, a subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Co. in Federal Way, Washington, one of the largest timberland owners in the world, said it is working closely with Gulf States Real Estate Services in Covington. Gulf States is providing project management, marketing and real estate consulting for the development.
William Wainwright, chancellor of Northshore Technical Community College, said the Tamanend development will “serve as a hub for innovation, technology, workforce training and economic development” in partnership with St. Tammany Parish Government, St. Tammany Economic Development and industry stakeholders.
Northshore Technical Community College, through construction of an Advanced Technology Center and STEM Campus, will be in a position to serve the northshore region’s need for high-skill, high-demand occupations, he said.
Gulf States will be marketing the large development tracts to subdevelopers, who will provide the apartments, town homes, residential building sites and retail town center. Brokerage of a 120-acre business park also will be a primary focus for Gulf States, seeking corporate end users who embrace the vision of Tamanend.
“The anticipation of what is to come in this area, north of I-12, is exciting,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish president. “This all-encompassing community, coupled with projects like the St. Tammany Advanced Campus, and the possibility of a safe house for our first responders during an emergency, is merely a glimpse of what may happen here.”
The name “Tamanend” comes from Chief Tamanend of the Lenni Lenape Nation, a tribe in Pennsylvania.