PlanLafayette Partners Focus on Strategizing Economic Growth
After a successful kick-off in April, PlanLafayette – Lafayette’s Comprehensive Plan – continues in its new format of monthly, informative sessions aimed at re-engaging citizens and gathering public input. One Acadiana (1A), the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) will host the second monthly session, themed “Strategizing Economic Growth.” The day will offer three sessions focused on updates to Acadiana’s Opportunity Zone Initiative, Leveraging Downtown as a Regional Asset, and LCG’s Development Processes. This free public event will be held on Wednesday, May 22, with the first session beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Acadiana’s Opportunity Zone Initiative – Attendees will hear updates on Acadiana’s Opportunity Zone initiative, including the Lafayette Opportunity Zone Prospectus – a detailed guide to investment in Lafayette’s seven Opportunity Zone census tracts, containing maps, data, and other relevant information. One Acadiana will also feature InvestAcadiana.org, a new website which will serve as a hub of information on all 25 Opportunity Zone census tracts in the nine-parish region, connecting investors, property owners, developers, and other stakeholders interested in partnering on Opportunity Zone projects.
Leveraging Downtown as a Regional Asset - Citizens are invited to attend this panel discussion over lunch to hear from developers, financial professionals, and architects on why (re)developing Downtown Lafayette provides our region’s greatest opportunity for creating high-quality, urban living that businesses and talent desire from cities in which they locate. Attendees can also hear what PlanLafayette has to say about developing in target areas like Downtown Lafayette for enhanced livability, and discuss how we can enhance our plans to continue moving our community forward.
Developing in Lafayette 101 - Developers or those interested in learning more about the development process will gain valuable insight on how to develop in Lafayette Parish. Attendees will hear from leaders of several LCG departments, including Development and Planning, Public Works, LUS and Community Development. This session also provides the public the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to help inform the five-year amendment to PlanLafayette.
As the presenting partner of “Strategizing Economic Growth,” 1A has a vested interest in development in and around Lafayette Parish. “1A recognizes the important role that development plays in a thriving community, which in turn plays a significant role attracting and retaining workforce and business,” stated André Breaux, 1A VP of Policy Initiatives and Governmental Affairs. “We see our role in this work as a convener to bring together private investors, businesses, elected officials, and public agencies to implement successful strategies and new policies for urban revitalization and catalyze new development activity.”
Anita Begnaud, CEO of DDA, explained, “Our Downtown Action Plan states Downtown Lafayette should be viewed as ‘one of the region’s most powerful economic development tools.’ Greenville, SC calls their downtown an ‘economic development calling card.’ On May 22, we’re providing an opportunity to hear panelists from various industries share about the ROI of investing in our city center and highlight how Downtown Lafayette’s development and regional economic development go hand-in-hand.”
All three sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, May 22 and are open to the public, FREE of charge; however registration is required for each session to ensure adequate space and refreshments. For event registration and location visit:
Acadiana’s Opportunity Zone Initiative – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/acadianas-opportunity-zone-initiative-tickets-61612128535
Leveraging Downtown as a Regional Asset - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leveraging-downtown-lafayette-as-a-regional-asset-tickets-61183348041
Developing in Lafayette 101 - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/developing-in-lafayette-101-tickets-61611197751
“Strategizing Economic Growth” is the second in the monthly series that will continue through December. The first public input sessions in April, organized by the Acadiana Planning Commission and themed “Embracing the Parish,” brought together the mayors from each municipality within Lafayette Parish to share their community’s strengths and challenges. The afternoon session focused on a topic important to all of the parish’s municipalities – drainage.
Entering its fifth year since adoption, PlanLafayette – Lafayette’s Comprehensive Plan – is expected to see updates and a five-year amendment in 2019-2020. In celebration of this anniversary year, various Lafayette Consolidated Government departments and initiatives – including Project Front Yard and CREATE – have teamed up to coordinate the monthly events with other partner organizations such as Lafayette Economic Development Authority and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Monthly themes include Embracing the Parish, Strategizing Economic Growth, Diversifying our Economy, Digital Citizen Engagement, Sustainability and Green Infrastructure, Infrastructure Planning.
Thanks to the support of generous partners, all monthly PlanLafayette activities will be free of charge, although some events require registration or and RSVP. All event information will be on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lafayettecomprehensiveplan and http://lafayettela.gov/ComprehensivePlan/Pages/the-plan.aspx.
PlanLafayette Week was first was held in 2014 and was originally conceived to introduce citizens to the ideas and action items recommended in the draft comprehensive plan. Since the plan’s adoption, it has become an event series where plan successes are celebrated and new initiatives are launched.