Posted: Aug 10, 2018 6:34 PM CDT
By Chris Welty
Major redevelopment is slated for Lafayette's Oil Center, but it could be years or even decades before we see any change.
A strategic plan is in place to zone the area for mixed use. This means, you would see multilevel buildings with businesses on the ground level and residents living above.
Holly Cure owns Antoni's Italian Cafe in the Oil Center. The restaurant has been open along Coolidge Drive for more than 20 years.
"We really do have a robust business," said Cure. "We've seen business increase over the years."
Cure has seen the Oil Center redevelopment plans. Right now, she's cautiously optimistic for the future.
"I'm hopeful for some updating, but at the same time, I'm skeptical about the plan as it is," Cure said.
She's worried about accessibility for her guests and the overall look of the area.
"I like the idea that we have lower level buildings. It just adds to the quaintness."
Geoff Dyer, CEO of the Downtown Development Authority says change is necessary. He believes the commercial center has lacked a clear strategic vision to capitalize on opportunity.
"The oil economy of the past is of the past. What people are looking for is walkable environments, more mixed us environments," Dyer said.
The goal is to make the Oil Center more walkable and increase business in the evenings. On-street parking could be added along Coolidge Drive and the travel lanes made smaller to reduce the speed of drivers.
"We have a lot of pent up demand," Dyer said. "It is inevitable that we will start seeing this type of development in our core."
Dyer says the Oil Center has good bones and the plan is to work with existing businesses.
"The idea is that you can go block-by-block instead of having to close the entire street down which would have a negative effect on business."
NOTICE OF INTENT TO LEASE PROPERTY
PURSUANT TO LA. R.S.33:4717.2
The Natchitoches Parish Port Commission ("Port Commission") hereby gives notice of its intention to enter into a lease on or after the 23rd day of August, 2018, with Biomass Power Louisiana, L.L.C., Inc. at the Natchitoches Parish Port site in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.
The Port Commission Offers the following information regarding the proposed lease:
1) The Port Commission will lease a site at the Natchitoches Parish Port to Biomass Power Louisiana, L.L.C. for the construction and operation of a wood chip mill, wood pellet mill and barge loading/unloading. The initial term of the lease will be for a term of thirty-five (35) years, with one fifteen (15) year option to renew, which option must be mutually approved and agreed upon by both the Port Commission and Biomass Power Louisiana, L.L.C ..
2) The property to be leased is a tract of land containing 75.00 acres, more or less, and being more particularly described as follows:
A certain piece, parcel or tract of land located in Section 41, Township 10 North, Range 7 West, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, containing 90.00 acres, more or less, being more fully shown on a survey by Robert Lynn Davis, Professional Land Surveyor, dated February 28,2017, and being more fully described as follows:
Begin at the corner common to Sections 41,42 and 81, Township 10 North, Range 7 West, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.
A certain piece, parcel or tract of land located in Sections 41, 42, 47, 80 and 81, Township 10 North, Range 7 West, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, containing 1.4 acres, more or less, and being more fully shown on surveys by Robert Lynn Davis, Professional Land Surveyor, dated May 23, 2014 and August 19, 2013.
A certain piece, parcel or tract of land located in Section 47, Township 10 North, Range 7 West, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, containing 0.985 acres, more or less, being more fully shown on a survey by Robert Lynn Davis, Professional Land Surveyor, dated July 23, 2014.
3) As consideration for the proposed lease, Biomass Power Louisiana, L.L.C. shall pay the Port Commission base rent during the primary term of the lease in the amount of $3,995.83 per month.
Additionally, the project will bestow a significant economic impact on Natchitoches Parish and surrounding parishes and will necessarily result in the creation of a significant number of additional jobs in the area.
4) A copy of the above-referenced lease is on file for public inspection during regular business hours in the office of the Port Commission, 5690 Highway 486 Building 1, Campti, Louisiana 71411.
5) The appraised rental value of the property to be leased to Biomass Power Louisiana, L.L.C., as determined on June 22, 2018, by a real estate appraisal performed by Mike Bordelon, SRA is Two Thousand Two Hundred Eighty-nine and 59/100 (U.S. 2,289.59) Dollars, per month.
6) Any objections to the foregoing proposed transfer will be received by Travis Tyler, Executive Director of the Natchitoches Parish Port Commission, on the 22nd day of August, 2018, at 2:00 0' clock p.m. at the offices of the Port Commission, 5690 Highway 486 Building 1, Campti, Louisiana 71411.