In 2018 a real push came together to develop a master plan to rebuild Lafayette's Oil Center.
The goal is to make the Oil Center much more user-friendly.
The plan is to build a new 3 to 5 story mixed-use building and to take its cues from the strengths of the employment of the medical sector and proximity to UL Lafayette.
The Cajundome makes the most money off of hosting concerts. They held 7 concerts in 2018, three were real money makers. They are planning on getting those numbers up in 2019.
Some of the challenges for the Cajundome is the fact that they are the only major arena in the state that is not run by SMG, and the capacity of the Cajundome makes it challenging at times.
The film industry is growing in Acadiana.
In 2018, 5 films were in production in Acadiana.
They were expected to generate $3.2 million dollars of income. The southern screen festival which is held every year in Lafayette helps promote local film production.
Several film companies are planning on shooting at least 8 films per year in Acadiana starting in 2019.
Louisiana and Acadiana have had issues for years with bad roads and old schools that need to be rebuilt or remodeled.
One Acadiana is working on the regional infrastructure visioning report to help identify the key road projects to tackle.
LPSS has been working hard to make upgrades to the older schools as well as work to build new schools. Ultimately funding will determine the speed of that progress.
The oil and gas industry has been down for several years. There is optimism that 2019 will be a big year for the industry, with increased oil prices and more investing in the oil and gas business.
A number of workers have left the business because of the downturn. It will cost more money to train new workers to replace them.
The city of Youngsville continues to grow. The Metairie Center Complex is part of that growth.
There are currently over 30 businesses up and running. Several more are pending. This allows Youngsville residents to shop locally and not have to go back into Lafayette. There are plans to build some residential housing in the future.
Commercial and retail growth has continued to grow in the Hub City. The push continues to try to grow retail and commercial in Downtown Lafayette.
When it comes to successful retail and commercial businesses in Lafayette, it is all experienced based.
The local real estate market took a turn for the better in 2018. There was a high supply and demand for homes this past year. Consumers are savvy, they do their research online and normally know what they want in a home before they contact a real estate agent.
The value of homes in Lafayette have continued to hold their value.
In 2018 One Acadiana hired a new CEO in Troy Wayman. He comes from Mobile, Alabama, where he worked with economic development in that region.
Also in 2018 the Downtown Development Authority also got a new CEO in Anita Begnaud. This Acadiana native previously worked at One Acadiana. She has hit the ground running as Downtown Lafayette explodes economically.
So as you can see 2018 was a busy year and 2019 is expected to be just exciting as Acadiana continues to grow in many different ways.