NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One Acadiana (1A) and the Acadiana Planning Commission (APC) won a Gold Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in the category of Innovation Programs and Initiatives for “Invest Acadiana: A Regional Opportunity Zone Initiative.” 1A and APC also earned a Bronze Award for the same initiative in the category of Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration. The honors were presented today at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference, which is currently underway.
Invest Acadiana is a joint initiative between 1A and APC aimed at promoting investment in the Acadiana region’s 25 Opportunity Zone census tracts.
The Opportunity Zone program was established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to incentivize individuals with capital gains to invest in economically-distressed communities.
“It is an honor to be recognized by IEDC for our work to encourage investment in Opportunity Zones throughout Acadiana,” said Troy Wayman, President & CEO of 1A. “We are pleased to share this recognition with APC and stand united in our joint efforts to bring new jobs, investment, and economic growth to communities across our region.”
“The Invest Acadiana initiative has been instrumental in attracting a tremendous amount of capital into our town centers and the urban core of Lafayette, particularly our University Avenue Corridor,” said Monique Boulet, CEO of APC. “Madeline Cove, a $15 million mixed-use development that broke ground in May, is a great example. Having these census tracts designated Opportunity Zones also supported our $10 million BUILD Grant to reconstruct University Avenue from Four Corners to I-10 into a more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly corridor. This federal grant leveraged an additional $20 million in state and local funds to bring the total investment to about $30 million.”
Other Opportunity Zone projects in the region either under construction or in the pipeline include: the redevelopment of the University Place Apartments adjacent to UL Lafayette into 200 units of student housing ($16 million investment); Keys Behavioral Health Center in New Iberia ($18 million investment); and a meat processing plant in Church Point ($3.5 million).
“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said Tom Kucharski, 2021 IEDC Board Chair and Invest Buffalo Niagara President & CEO. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose projects and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”
One Acadiana (1A) is the leading economic development organization for the nine-parish Acadiana region located in south Louisiana. With more than 600 investors, members, and partners, One Acadiana serves as the voice of the regional business community. The organization is located in the city of Lafayette and serves a region of nearly 700,000 people with a vibrant culture and unique entrepreneurial spirit. Learn more at OneAcadiana.org.
About the Acadiana Planning Commission
The Acadiana Planning Commission (APC), Louisiana Planning District 4, serves the public sector with planning and implementation of community, watershed, transportation, and economic development throughout the Acadiana region. The APC serves as the technical staff for Acadiana’s regional planning commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Louisiana Watershed Initiative Region 5.
About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development experiences. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at iedconline.org.