LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – While the north side of Lafayette lost a major employer and grocer earlier this year, small business owners are stepping up to the plate and investing in their community.

It’s been nearly two and a half months since Walmart on Evangeline Thruway shut its doors for the last time, leaving more than 220,000 square foot building vacant on one of Lafayette busiest roadways.

But people like Dr. Louella Cook have always seen value in this side of town.

For the past fourteen months, she’s called the Northgate Mall home for her boutique.

“We are, as a group, trying to revitalize the north side. Get rid of the negative stigma. As I’ve said in all other interviews, Northgate mall is a place for potential growth”, Dr. Cook said.

With several businesses set to open in the Northgate Mall in the coming months, the once-booming shopping center is prepped for success.

Dr. Cook says, “The reason, basically, is to give the community a venue that they can be very proud of and support.” 

The mall isn’t the only location business owners are making their homes.
Brandon Bernard is the co-owner of Unlimited Automotive, a car sales and detail shop that just opened at the corner of Willow and Moss Street.

“A lot of businesses are leaving and headed toward the other side of town, so we just want to bring more opportunities back here”, Bernard said as he explained why he and his business partner Josh Francis chose the location.

And while there are tons of questions about what’s next for the Walmart building, LEDA is not able to share details at right now but the property has been submitted for two state projects.

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