Chattanooga, Tennessee-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. and Covington-based Stirling Properties have formed a joint venture to develop Ambassador Town Center, a 58-acre retail center at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Kaliste Saloom road in Lafayette.

The center will be built in one phase and will be approximately 425,000 square feet. Major retailers include Costco, Dick's Sporting Goods, Field & Stream, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Nordstrom Rack, Off Broadway Shoes, Chuy's, Panera Bread and Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. The majority of the tenants committed to the project are on their first Lafayette or Louisiana location or both.

Construction is set to begin this month, and the center's projected opening is in March 2016.

Ambassador Town Center is expected to create approximately 2,200 construction jobs, 1,000 permanent jobs and generate nearly $9 million annually in sales taxes for the city of Lafayette.

Public infrastructure improvements are being funded through a payment in lieu of tax arrangement , or PILOT. The work includes a new connection between Frem Boustany Road and Kaliste Saloom Road and multiple improvements to the existing road system. Under the arrangement, The Industrial Development Board for Lafayette Parish has agreed to allocate a portion of the property taxes that will be created by the development of this project to build the public infrastructure.

“This project is a sign of Lafayette’s strong economy and our willingness to work with the private sector for needed infrastructure in our community,” Joey Durel, Lafayette City-Parish president, said in a news release. “Retailers like those that have committed will be a regional draw for Lafayette, and the public infrastructure that will be built to provide a route parallel to Ambassador Caffery is necessary for one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Louisiana."

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. is a publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on mall properties. The trust owns, holds interests in or manages 152 properties including 92 "market-dominant" enclosed malls and open-air centers. The trust also develops new regional malls, open-air centers, and lifestyle and community centers.

Stirling's services include brokerage, development and redevelopment, acquisitions and investments, and property and asset management. The company focuses on the Gulf South region.