March 22, 2016 04:22 PM

At 536 acres, Freeland is first such development-ready site in Acadia Parish.

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Regional economic development group One Acadiana and the Crowley Chamber of Commerce announced in mid-March that a 536-acre site has been certified under the Louisiana Economic Development certified-sites program.

The two organizations worked closely with LED, the Acadia Parish Police Jury, SLEMCO and the land owner, Joe Freeland, to obtain the required documentation for certification. The first to be LED-certified in Acadia Parish, Freeeland is the largest such development-ready site in the region, which has three additional certified sites — Williams Memorial in St. Mary Parish, Deere Park in Vermilion Parish and Evangeline Ward 1 in Evangeline Parish.

Freeland has completed a rigorous review process to answer as many development questions as possible and is ready to be used as a marketing tool when companies are looking for opportunities to relocate to Acadiana or for existing companies expanding their local operations.

“This 536-acre site brings the total certified acreage in our region from approximately 219 to 755 acres, a 245 percent increase,” Crowley Chamber President and CEO Amy Thibodeaux said in a prepared statement.

Louisiana Economic Development’s Certified Sites program qualifies industrial sites that are at least 25 acres based on zoning restrictions, title work, environmental studies, soil analysis and surveys. This information is identified and compiled so companies can quickly and easily evaluate the merits of the site. A development-ready certified site either has all utilities and infrastructure in place or has approved engineering plans to provide the utility infrastructure within 180 days.

Site development is a cornerstone of 1A’s 2016 initiatives, and the Freeland announcement represents the first site certified since the organization’s inception in 2015. “A portfolio of marketable sites is a key ingredient in the business development process. The newly certified Freeland Site represents the type of landing pad Acadiana is going to present nationally to business decision makers,” said Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana president and CEO.

Landowners interested in learning more about the site certification process to make their property more marketable should contact Zach Hager at Zach@OneAcadiana.org

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