Catalyzing Opportunitiesto Develop the Urban Core
The towns and cities of Acadiana are among the most important assets that define our region’s identity and fuel its economic opportunity. Blessed with communities both large and small, Acadiana offers a rich spectrum of settings to live and work. 1A understands the primary importance of these essential places and works with private investors, businesses, elected officials, and public agencies to implement successful strategies and new policies for urban revitalization and catalyze new development activity.
VP, Policy Initiatives & Governmental Affairs
Urban Revitalization and Development Committee
The Urban Revitalization and Development Committee is an assembly of strategic thinkers that share a keen interest in Urban Environments, who assess the challenges and opportunities for sustaining vibrant communities across Acadiana, and recommend new strategies with the necessary tools to implement improvement. The URD Committee plays a critical role in advising the 1A Board of Directors on all things urban, and provides critical connective tissue throughout the region that supports partnerships for urban development at all scales.
Work of the Committee
The URD Committee welcomes both 1A members and non-members to engage in our discussions and local initiatives, such as the planning for the I-49 Lafayette Connector, redevelopment efforts in Lafayette’s urban core, and leveraging the unique assets of communities across the region. Meeting monthly, the Committee provides input for the development of policy recommendations advocated by 1A, and tackles individual projects through task forces.
Incentives with Intent
Urban redevelopment policy has created an array of incentives to stimulate new investment in languishing urban districts. Whether its tax abatement, tax credits, or tax increment financing; PILOTs, public infrastructure contributions, or performance zoning; redevelopment bonuses or regulatory relief, the toolkit is rich with options.
Essential to successful redevelopment is the judicious use of these tools for targeted outcomes rather than a generic approach to generic growth. 1A is engaged in the analysis and recommendation of local incentive policies that will spur new infill development in Lafayette’s urban core.
Connected by Culture
Acadiana is home to a rich collection of communities – from historic Parish seats like Abbeville and New Iberia to traditional communities like Arnaudville, Crowley, Abbeville, and Franklin where the roots of regional identity grow deep. Together they comprise one of the most distinct cultural settings in America that has sustained its authenticity despite the national forces of homogenization. These are the places where the joie de vivre of Cajun Louisiana is a daily experience – part and parcel of the way folks live around here.
The southern parishes of the Pelican State have got the secret sauce for success, matching a solid track record of growth with a unique quality of life.
Nurturing these places as they experience economic change goes hand in hand with sustaining the very qualities of our region that make it unlike any place else in America. Through regional collaboration and sharing of technical expertise, 1A plays an important role in forging common purpose and effective approaches for all Acadiana communities.
Lafayette - The Hub City
Lafayette occupies a unique place in Acadiana. It is the largest urbanized area and serves as a primary economic generator of the region. Endowed with exceptional assets like University of Louisiana at Lafayette, South Louisiana Community College, LUS Fiber – one of the few municipal high-speed fiber utilities in the country, and an array of medical institutions, Lafayette serves as our preeminent urban setting. 1A dedicates significant time and resources to advancing the urban agenda in Lafayette, working closely with public sector partners at Lafayette Consolidated Government, the Downtown Development Authority, LEDA, and LPTFA who share a common vision of the city’s future.
Oil Center Redevelopment Plan
The I-49 Lafayette Connector and the Future of the Urban Core
Urban highways are challenging, yet critical, pieces of the necessary infrastructure that sustains urban and regional economies. They exist in some tension with urban settings - too often they have been designed with a single-minded focus on their transportation functions while ignoring their primary effect in shaping the urban environment. However, we recognize that thriving communities need both excellent transportation facilities and vibrant inner cities to be successful. The investment in transportation infrastructure must also lay the foundation for urban success, creating a positive relationship between road and city that attracts, rather than repels, new investment.
A Project Demanding the Highest Standards
Opportunity to Plan for the Future
Opportunity Zone Investment
The Opportunity Zone program was established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur long-term private sector investments in low-income urban and rural communities. The program offers federal capital gains tax benefits to investors who re-invest their capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds. Investors with capital gains can transfer those into an Opportunity Fund within 180 days to take advantage of the tax benefits.
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