YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) – Businesses is booming along Chemin Metairie Parkway in Youngsville.
“It might be the old adage of build it and they will come,” said Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter.
An Exxon gas station is being built at Chemin Metairie and Guillot Road.
Serenity Med Spa is going up near Sugar Mill Pond.
The second building of Mill Commons will have several businesses, including a restaurant.
And a 24,000 square foot commercial center will be built near the Youngsville Sports Complex.
Macie Menard works at Marley B’s Juice Bar which opened on Chemin Metairie Parkway two summers ago.
“I think really just the mission here is to bring more healthy food to Youngsville,” Menard said.
She’s happy to see more businesses moving in.
“I think it’s going to be great. I think the more the merrier,” Menard said.
The city built Chemin Metairie Parkway with development in mind.
The first section from LA 92 to Guillot Road opened in 2009.
The second phase from Guilott to U.S. Highway 90 opened in 2013. A small section of it runs through St. Martin Parish.
Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter said building permits in the city were up 37 percent from 2017 to 2018.
The city has waived commercial permitting fees for new development until the end of 2019, which can cost thousands of dollars.
“Talking to some business owners on why they’ve chose to relocate here that certainly made it easier. For small business owners every dollar counts,” Ritter said.
Ritter says the Youngsville Sports Complex and Southside High School are big draws.
New neighborhoods have been built along the corridor and plenty of land is available for development.
The city of Youngsville is currently rebuilding a section of Chemin Metairie Parkway for around $800,000.
The road was closed on March 13th. Mayor Ritter expects construction to last between 60 and 90 days.
The city is currently involved in litigation with the original builder.
“My focus has been on getting the infrastructure right and of course the lawyers will do their part but in the interim we’re doing everything we can to maintain and improve the infrastructure,” Ritter said.
He said the first quarter of 2019 was good for building permits, and the rest of the year looks promising, too.
Ritter said the city has seen a return on its investment because those businesses are generating more sales tax money for the city.