SCOTT — The planned West Village development here will enhance the city’s downtown area, Robert Daigle, managing partner for Cottage Developers and Southern Lifestyle Development, said during a town hall meeting Monday.
Residents voiced their concerns about preserving the city’s core and other issues during the meeting with city officials and with those behind the project.
Cottage Developers, which oversees developments smaller than Southern Lifestyle Development's River Ranch and Sugar Mill Pond, is designing West Village, a 78-acre development near Provost Road that will feature a mix of differing homes, apartments, commercial and office space all around a central town square.
A groundbreaking ceremony is set for 8 a.m. May 24.
"The plaza (at West Village) and downtown are only about half a mile apart if you draw a straight line,” Scott Mayor Jan-Scott Richard said. “We're working diligently to try to connect the two. We're speaking with landowners and property owners buy in to make it connected, but we really see some benefits to this for West Village and downtown."
Daigle said the concern about downtown won’t be an issue. Businesses near River Ranch and Sugar Mill Pond have seen success and growth and more traffic because of the events held within their communities.
"If you look at River Ranch, right across the street is a major development, right down the street is a major development,” Daigle said. “We bring people in all the way from Lake Charles and Baton Rouge. The crowds that we bring in benefit business within a certain distance from the development. That kind of activity breeds more activity and not just in our development, I think.”
The town square, which will be comparable to River Ranch's town square, will be a part of the first phase of construction along with 90 percent of the amenities, Daigle said. Eight to 10 serious businesses expressed interest in locating there.
The first phase’s 95 lots have sold, and the plots are now being designed for 70 lots on second phase and 80 lots for the third phase. Developers will have a plot design for Phase 2 in the next 30-45 days, Daigle said.
"We're in Louisiana, east Texas, Mississippi and now Alabama, and I don't think I've developed in any community where we have been so well-received and openly received as we have in Scott,” he said. “This is a special place with great leadership, and it's been a great pleasure to work with everyone."
The first phase of the Apollo Road Extension, which will connect Old Spanish Trail to Dulles Drive, should be complete by this time next year, Richard said. The second phase is currently in the state funding bill and could go out to bid this winter.
Residents also asked about logistics for events held there similar to Rhythms on the River or Sugar Jam regarding parking and trash collection, sidewalks, events for teenagers. Events will not have parking meters or paid parking, events organizer Gus Rezende said.
Proposals for West Village mentioned included a salt water swimming pool, an indoor arts facility similar to the Acadiana Center for the Arts and a church.