Jan. 2, 2015 01:04 PM
Costco updated plan

On Friday Stirling Properties and CBL & Associates, developers of the Costco Wholesale-anchored Ambassador Town Center, confirmed for the first time that their tenant mix will also include Nordstrom Rack (Nordstrom's off-price division), Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream, Marshalls department store, HomeGoods (which, like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, is owned by the TJX Companies), Off Broadway Shoes, Chuy’s Mexican restaurant, Panera Bread and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.

Covington-based Stirling and Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL (which owns Acadiana Mall) have entered into a joint venture agreement to develop the 58-acre site at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Kaliste Saloom Road, a more than $95 million project the developers say is 90 percent leased before the first dirt turns this month.

About $11.7 million in public infrastructure improvements — including a new connection between Frem Boustany Road and Kaliste Saloom Road and multiple improvements to the existing road system — are being funded through a payment in lieu of tax arrangement that will be in place for up to 12 years. Under the PILOT program, the local Industrial Development Board, a political subdivision of the parish, agreed to allocate a significant portion of the property taxes created by the development to build the public infrastructure, which is expected to cost more than the PILOT will cover. All of the public infrastructure, even the additional investment not covered by the PILOT funding, will be donated to the city, explains Ryan Pécot, senior leasing exec for Stirling. “The city made out even better than they initially anticipated,” Pécot tells ABiz.

Getting the property into commerce as quickly as possible is critical for Lafayette’s tax coffers, as the undeveloped “agricultural” land currently pays less than $350 annually in property taxes. In addition to the $600,000 to $700,000 it will generate in property taxes once it’s up and running, Ambassador Town Center is expected to trigger nearly $9 million in sales taxes annually. It is anticipated the project will create 2,200 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.

Most of the confirmed retailers are new entries into the Lafayette market, with some making their first moves into the state. The center’s projected opening is March 2016; additional retailers will be announced once the deals are finalized.

“This project is a sign of Lafayette’s strong economy and our willingness to work with the private sector for needed infrastructure in our community,” Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel says in a press release confirming the retail lineup. “Retailers like those that have committed will be a regional draw for Lafayette, and the public infrastructure that will be built with this project, providing a route parallel to Ambassador Caffery, is necessary for one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Louisiana. Companies make decisions on where to locate based on long-term projections. This decision says that they have confidence in the future of our area.”

Read more on the project here.

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