The word "downtown" sometimes describes a city's central business district. But more often, it's used to describe the historical, political and geographic heart of a city.
The Acadiana Advocate offices are moving this week — from 815 Johnston St. into the heart of downtown at 203 W. Third St. Starting Monday, we'll operate out of an historic building just across from Cite des Arts. You might remember it from Festival International 2016, when it housed an exhibit of Cuban photographer Ramses Hernandez Batista's amazing work.
This is a great move for a number of reasons — namely, we are outgrowing our current office space. But, also, we are excited about being closer to the heartbeat of the city.
Being in the core of downtown Lafayette means being able to walk to more local businesses and restaurants. It means being right in the midst of popular events, too, such as ArtWalk, Bach Lunch and Downtown Alive.
We're looking forward to getting to know our new neighbors, including the folks at Sides and Associates (owner Larry Sides owns our building, too), just around the corner. Dee Stanley, chief operating officer of the advertising firm, said it's unlikely that "the men who made wagon wheels in the iron works building the Acadiana Advocate will now call home ever dreamed the space would be occupied by journalists and equipment they never imagined possible."
"We know you will love being in our historic section of Downtown Lafayette. And we’re sure you will be amazed at how many great places there are to Eat Lafayette within about two blocks of your new office."
We're also excited to be a part of the transformation we've been documenting in downtown Lafayette.
"Local news media plays a critical role in our community, and that's why Downtown Lafayette is thrilled to welcome The Acadiana Advocate into the heart of our central business district," Anita Begnaud said this week. She's CEO of Lafayette Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Lafayette Unlimited.
"Having news reporters on the streets daily, participating as vital members of our community, will shine a new light on what downtown has to offer businesses, residents, and visitors, as well as the challenges to development that we face as a district. On behalf of both board of directors, we welcome your team to Downtown Lafayette; we can't wait to #letdowntownsurpriseyou in a new way."
We've written about the challenges facing downtown, such as parking, drainage and other infrastructure issues. We've also reported on new businesses, such as Tula Tacos + Amigos, which opened recently at 427 Jefferson St., and tech companies Waitr and CGI, which have expanded their operations into new downtown locations.
Now we get to live it.
You can continue to reach me by phone at (337) 349-1145 or by email at email@example.com, but I hope you'll pay us a visit in our new digs, and, while you're there, take advantage of all downtown has to offer.