LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Developers of the old Trappey’s Canning Plant, which shut down in 1992, have some big plans for the area.

Stephen Ortego says he is looking to connect the Vermilion River to his new development project. 

“Since my partner and I purchased the old Trappey’s cannery, we have actually gone about laying the foundation to be able to redevelop the site into a new district for Lafayette that is bringing the city back to the river.” Ortego said.

Ortego said he has put the building on the national register and created an economic development district around it. In addition, he says, the city has started design work on two pedestrian bridges that connect Trappey to the three parks, Heymann, Little Woods and Beaver Park. 

“Allowing us to have a sort of Riverwalk with a mixed user of retail, hotels, hospitality and brewery,” he said. “We’re talking to a coffee roaster. We’re also talking to a grocer.” he said.

The first phase is $150 million, but then there’s even more money needed after that, Ortego said. 

“We have also started our architectural drawings on some of the first phrases. The first phase is going to be a $150 million project—a huge economic boost to the region. Frankly, it’s just going to be a way; another place that people in Lafayette can be proud of, to be able to visit, even live and work and play in this new district that would be on the Vermilion River.” 

Groundbreaking would not be until roughly 2024 and from there opening of the first phase. 

“It’s exciting to give it new life and then also build up new construction around it and connect the people of Lafayette back to the river.”