An Opportunity Zone is hoping to show potential investors the vision of the future of the Northside of Lafayette. Pride Opportunity Developers tell News15 their ideas that are lacking the funds to needed revitalize the north part of town.
“Over the last 40 years there’s been a tremendous amount of dis-investment in the Northside of town.” said Ravis Martinez, Senior Strategist for POD.
“If we as a community don’t try and develop this community then this community will not have the opportunity to grow into the 21st century.” said John S. Ford, President and CEO of POD.
Pride Opportunity Development is hoping to do exactly what their name says: bring hope, create opportunity and develop the Northside of town.
“We wanna build wealth and prosperity and growth in this community.” said Martinez, “We wanna give hope where there hasn’t been any for years. We wanna give jobs where there hasn’t been jobs, we wanna give folks something they can actually have a nice place to live work and play just like everybody else in Lafayette.”
To do this, the area, classified as a Federal Opportunity Zone, is in need of investors willing to take a chance on over 350,000 square feet of retail space that’s not in commerce.
“We’re looking at changing our big box facility.” said Martinez, “One of the big things you saw in the stories was an indoor hemp facility.”
“When we look at the big box opportunity for growing industrial hemp, we are not talking about growing a crop.” said Ford, “We are talking about growing a community and this community needs to grow like the rest of the city and the rest of the parish. ”
Other projects include re-development for affordable housing, and mixed use development. And for the dreamers at POD, they know Northside is ready for rejuvenation.
“Wherever you live in this great city, if we build up the least of us, we build up all of us.” said Martinez.
If you are interested in investing, there are incentives available to you because the area is an Opportunity Zone. If you want to invest or if you want to join the conversation and brainstorm how to build up the Northside, a ‘Plan North Lafayette Day’ will be held this Wednesday at 8:30 am at the Garden Plaza Hotel.