New Iberia “Turns Dirt” on housing development project - KLFY News 10

New Iberia “Turns Dirt” on housing development project

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Teche Ridge, Iberia Parish's first Traditional Neighborhood Design had their "turning dirt" ceremony on Monday.

Located just off the intersection of Old Jeanerette Road and Emile Verret Road in New Iberia, the project has been the baby of locally established Southern Mutual Help Associates, INC. Lorna Bourg , CEO, sang praises at the start of the ceremony.

"We started out with a little song about Hallelujah, and so that's how we feel about today because there were so many barriers to doing this."

One barrier included making sure the community understood the project completely.

"When it started out it was rather difficult, because it was after Katrina and people thought this place was going to be full of FEMA trailers . We did about 100 community meetings to let people know that our vision and our goal was to build healthy prosperous homes."

Representatives from Cleco, Van Eaton and Romero, State Representative Stephen Ortego, Iberia Parish President Errol Romero and several other community leaders were in attendance. All were commended by Bourg for their continuous help with the project.

Six hundred homes will be built inside Teche Ridge, which officials expect will take 10 to 15 years to complete. The community will also incorporate 200,000 square feet of commercial property, including a grocery store, bakery and a health club.

Town Planner and architect Steve Oubre of Architects Southwest has worked on the project for four years. He was also behind Lafayette's famed River Ranch and Youngsville's Sugar Mill Pond. Oubre said he has tried hard to remove the stigma that Teche Ridge will be a community for the wealthy only.

"It's the makeup of how people interact that creates the value of place."

Oubre explained the community will be a mix of small and large market rate properties and he hopes all walks of life will feel at home in the community.

"The reality is a great community shouldn't pick their place. They should be everywhere and New Iberia deserves to have a great neighborhood."

The total investment in the project is $150 million, but Bourg said she expects the economic impact on the community to be half a billion dollars.

She said the next phase includes adding curbing and water pipes to the land.  Van Eaton and Romero have already begun doing pre-sales for those who want to reserve a spot. To contact Van Eaten and Romero, simply call (337) 365-9700.

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