SLD's first project was the nationally recognized Village at River Ranch, a traditional neighborhood development in Lafayette. Now staffed by more than 20 employees, SLD has expanded into all areas of Louisiana, with more than 30 ongoing projects that include both traditional neighborhood developments and conventional subdivisions.
GONZALES – Conway, a walkable premiere lifestyle community set on 344 acres of a former cattle ranch, held a groundbreaking Tuesday morning for the development that will bring some 930 residential lots, apartments and retail stores.
Developers and area officials were on site of the property once owned by M.P. Evans off La. 44 that was annexed into the city limits of Gonzales in 2012. Southern Lifestyle Development closed on the property last summer for $8 million and expects to invest $325 million in the project.
“There is no project we are more excited about,” said Robert Daigle, co-founder of Southern Lifestyle Development. “It takes a Herculean effort to make this happen.”
The economy of northeastern Louisiana traditionally has been resistant to huge swings.
The area rode through the Great Recession without huge hits. At the same time, the region seldom sees spurts of growth. The best description of the region’s economy can be summed up in one word: stable.
Monroe is on the cusp of a rare spurt.
CenturyLink continues to attract such partners as IBM to Monroe. CenturyLink also is instrumental in the creatiom of Century Village, the 88-acre development that will blend housing and retail into one neighborhood with parks, restaurants and more within walking distance of family homes.
The development is called the Conway and is more than 300 acres land located right off of Highway 44.
It is expected to include about 1,000 single homes and 500 apartments with restaurants and shops. Mayor of Gonzales, Barney Arceneaux, said that the development is a "jewel."
"I like the term now 'The Jewel of the South,' and other people may take claim of that but right now it's our day and I'll take claim for it," Arceneaux said.
Robert Daigle, of Southern Lifestyle Development, known for his River Ranch development in Lafayette, is the developer for the Ascension Parish project.
"We are actively starting earth work which includes construction on all of our lake systems and things of that nature but from this point forward on you're going to see an awful lot of things happening on this property," Daigle said.
However, there are concerns about traffic once the development is underway. Developers say they are working closely with DOTD to add additional roadways to help with those concerns.
"We're going to doing a two land roundabout right on Highway 44 at the entrance as well as an additional lane so we're going to be doing a lot of road improvements to help the congestion," Prescott Bailey, of Southern Lifestyle Development, said.
Mayor Arceneaux says that residents may have to deal with some impacts while construction is going on, but says it will be worth it once the development is complete.
"We'll ask our citizens just to have some patience," he said.
"Surely it's going to be tough for a while, but I can ensure you all in due time you're going to have a wonderful project and you're going to have a wonderful new road way as well," Arceneaux said.
Developers say the development will be completed in about six years.
MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Project leaders and elected officials from all over the area announced the groundbreaking of Century Village, a new development aimed at catapulting economic development in the region.
The 88 acre residential development will also include recreational facilities like restaurants, parks and even a daycare center.
It will all be built around the centerpiece of the project - a new headquarter building for IBM.
The project is meant to be a tool to recruit more business and attract potential employees to Monroe.
A big key is the partnership between CenturyLink and IBM. Both companies say this new development will help that relationship flourish.
CenturyLink President and CEO Glen Post says this is a major step forward.
"I think it will be a great tool for recruitment. We try to attract the best quality in the world to Century Link and this area. This is going to create an advancement in quality of life for North Louisiana and Monroe," Post said.
Construction on the project should start immediately.