FEASTival is almost over. Here’s a sampling of our favorite gluttonous pile-ons.
Festival International is a celebration of global sound. FEASTival is a showcase of international tastes. Flavor is everywhere.
The elephant in the room is how much longer this damn pandemic will last and who will be left standing when it finally ends. But that’s not the only aspect of our local economy with an uncertain fate.
Festival staff members are sketching out alternatives that would allow the internationally acclaimed event to function in a socially distanced environment. That could even mean hosting Festival out of city limits or in scattered locations.
Council Preview 8/18: A report on the LUS report, go-cups (again), early voting in North Lafayette, splitting up city and parish parks
Here are the highlights for Tuesday night’s city, parish, and joint council meetings. To view the full agendas click here, select 8/18/2020 from the dropdown menu, and then click on the agenda or agenda item you want to dive into.
The scene may have changed at the Hideaway, but the food and the vibe haven’t.
Artist Lessie LeBlanc-Melancon is using the nearly 100-year-old statue itself to project her views on the statue and what it stands for — literally
Populated with so many of Lafayette’s musicians, artists, cooks, bartenders and gig workers inexorably tied to the local cultural economy, routine life in Lafayette’s Freetown neighborhood is upended.
What happens next with the Buchanan garage is unclear, but the options are limited.
Are they TIFs? How much are the taxes? Where are the districts?
Setting aside the philosophical argument about EDDs in general, the way these particular districts are designed is problematic.
The gist: The board of a Lafayette public trust voted to front the cost of adding a new sewer pump Downtown as an intermediate fix to the district’s nagging sewer capacity problem.
Clogged up. Downtown and Lafayette’s urban core in general suffer from aging and inadequate sewer infrastructure that developers say limits their ability to add apartment complexes and townhouses. The problem is particularly acute Downtown. Longterm, LUS is working on a $7 million infrastructure upgrade that would fix the problem and then some. But that’s not fast enough to accommodate what’s believed to be immediate demand for Downtown living.
LPTFA stepped up with a stop gap. The deal calls for the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority to spend just under $1 million to build a lift pump station on Grant Street property owned by LPTFA. LUS will reimburse the trust.
“We feel it’s in the interest of Downtown for us to step up,” Rebekke Miller says. Miller is the program coordinator for LPTFA, which is in the process of building a 70-unit market rate project near Downtown.
1,800 beds. That’s the total new capacity expected to be unlocked by the lift pump, according to LUS. A 2017 market study estimated Downtown could support up to 1,110 residential units. Downtown Development Authority CEO Anita Begnaud says the station would be complete by December 2020, in time to accommodate several new developments, including the old federal courthouse.
“I think you’re going to see another 200 units once [developers] see the capacity,” Begnaud says. Developers have been unable to secure financing for projects without commitments from LUS that the developments will have sewer facilities. Several smaller-scale developments are waiting in the wings behind the roughly 200 units of new housing currently underway.
Why this matters. Downtown has been stuck in a development quagmire for years while advocates clamor to bring urban living to Lafayette. This year, employer announcements — Waitr and CGI — stoked optimism for a boom. But infrastructure limitations remain an obstacle. Downtown officials are pushing to create a new sales tax district to finance infrastructure improvements, which the City-Parish Council will vote on Dec. 17.