LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – In Lafayette, major improvements could soon be coming to the Simcoe Street area. The targeted area spans from Twelfth Street to Pontiac Point.
Lafayette Consolidated Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux says there’s a process underway to set-up a follow-up meeting with the consultant who managing the proposed “pink codes” or reduced codes designed to encourage development.
“What’s going to happen there is that we come-up with the ideas and recommendations for current business owners of the landowners to invest in their own property on the private side and then government comes in and invest in public infrastructure to enhance things,” adds Boudreaux.
Councilman Boudreaux says “pink codes” basically will be a softer version of the Planning and Development Codes that already exist. He’s says the hope is local government would invest in public infrastructure, then business and landowners would follow suit by investing in the improvement of their property.
“It’s an attempt to take an area which has become somewhat dormant and left behind and put energy back into it; and make people want to invest there and go there to spend money,” adds Boudreaux.
Boudreaux says, from there business owners could create appealing business models for investors, for private or economic development loans — based on the new improvements.
Kathleen Babineaux works on Simcoe Street at the popular Guidroz’s Food Center. “It would upgrade the neighborhood. It’s good for business,” says Babineaux
Councilman Boudreaux says the Simcoe Street plan includes tackling blighted property. “I would like to see all the abandoned buildings not being used. Put it to good use,” adds Babineaux.
Resident Bridget Alfred agrees with revitalizing Simcoe. In fact, Alfred has a few suggestions of her own. “There needs to be more benches. We don’t have enough for the elderly people. We have a lot of people who walk to the stores. There’s not enough of that and at bus stops would actually help them too,” adds Alfred.
Boudreaux hopes that some form of Economic Development Authority can be formed with business owners in the immediate vicinity. Boudreaux says business owners can utilize the services of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority or the services of the Small Business Incubator at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; just to name a few options.