LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Downtown Lafayette looking to expand its residential footprint through a public-private partnership between the City of Lafayette and a downtown business owner.

Owner and operator of Rock’n’Bowl de Lafayette, Johnny Blancher, plans to develop a 208-residential unit complex, along with a city-owned parking garage in the heart of downtown Lafayette. The idea is to have the parking garage in the center with the units surrounding the area. The site is inclusive of city-owned property where Lafayette City Court and the Lafayette City Marshal’s Office currently operate, in addition to several lots owned by Blancher. 

Concept art for development project

“This project is a prime example of a public-private partnership,” said Mayor-President Josh Guillory. “I appreciate Mr. Blancher’s interest in investing in downtown Lafayette. Combining the strength of the public sector with the power of the private sector allows us to increase our efficiency, provide better services, and retain public assets for those we serve.” Mayor-President Guillory also said he is grateful to City Council members who approved funding for a downtown parking garage. 

Blancher, who’s lived in downtown for seven years, is passionate about increasing downtown’s residential life. “The support for downtown by this administration, and the understanding of what makes all of Lafayette a better community is truly apparent. For our local shops and retail storefronts to thrive downtown, residential growth is the key,” says Blancher.

According to Downtown Development Authority CEO Anita Begnaud, the new residential development is in line with the Downtown Lafayette Action Plan. “We’ve been working toward moments like this for nearly a decade. Providing high-quality city living options moves us forward in the DDA’s mission to create and sustain a vibrant downtown not only for our residents, but also to compete as a region for jobs and professional talent. After months of confidential conversations and planning, it’s exciting this new development is coming to fruition.”

Floor plan for Downtown Lafayette development project.

LEDA President and CEO Mandi Mitchell is also in support of the project and is glad to see another investment in downtown by Blancher. “This project is a great example of a private developer investing in the district and collaborating with local government to benefit both parties and downtown residents, workers, and visitors.”

Blancher believes the project will create more opportunities for growth that generations of Lafayette locals will reap the benefits. 

Mayor-President Guillory says many important steps have to fall in place for the public-private partnership to be a success, including relocating the Lafayette City Court and Marshal’s offices.