Wednesday, the Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation hosted a meeting to discuss the vision for the future. There are already a lot of things to do downtown, whether it's eating or enjoying live music or a festival. But, it looks like residential growth is on the horizon. It has a lot of people asking “what's up with downtown?”
Over the past few years, there's been something special going on in downtown Lafayette. It's seen a new wave of life with new restaurants, businesses, bars, and events. But as downtown developers move forward, they say there's still a huge gap to fill.
“The only thing missing are the people living there. As soon as you get all those people living there, you'll also get some new fun things that will make it more pleasant to visitors,” said Nathan Norris, the CEO of the Downtown Development Authority.
He says in two years, they're hoping to have nearly a hundred residential spaces downtown. He says right now, there's such a high demand, apartment availability is only through word-of-mouth.
E.J. Krampe of Place de Lafayette says the so-called “Millennials” are changing the residential dynamics of the city and they're tapping into that.
“The Millennials want to be able to walk out their front door and see their friends and interact,” said Krampe.
And there's still room to add some cultural zest by tapping into the creativity Lafayette already has. From fire hydrant to parking meters and colorful crosswalks, Norris says local artistic flare should and will be fostered downtown.
“If it can't happen downtown what regions is it supposed to happen? Downtown is where the edgy stuff should be happening,” said Norris.