Opelousas officials have approved two commercial developments and a residential enterprise. Meanwhile, the progress for another proposed large home project scheduled south of the city has stalled due to over permit and utility connection fee disputes.
The Board of Aldermen passed a series of resolutions and ordinances that allow the city to annex land off the Interstate-49 service road for a Love’s Truck Stop, change the zoning requirements to build a McAllister’s Deli drive-through in a parking lot on Creswell Lane and construct a 240-unit apartment complex off East Laurent Street.
Still waiting for board approval, however ,is the 215-home development off Harry Guilbeau Road. Developers and the land owner for the $50 million project said they are agreeable to meeting with the city administration to hammer out a deal that allows the development to proceed.
Love’s Truck Stop
Brad Peck, who represented the truck stop construction plans at a meeting last week, said the facility will include four property tracts south of Our Savior’s Church.
In addition to servicing trucks and customers buying fuel, Peck said the building will include at least two restaurants. Peck estimated the project would create 50 to 60 jobs, with a site plan that is scheduled to be reviewed soon by the State Department of Transportation.
Peck also explained that the I-49 Love’s Truck Stop will be larger than the one that was completed several years ago in Port Barre.
The truck stop is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022.
Laurent and Vincent Street apartments
This development by Warner Interstate Properties for new apartment rentals also was approved.
Two years ago the Board rejected the construction of apartments in the same area behind Lowe’s. Rick Bates, who represented the development, said modifications and changes for location have been made to the original plan.
The $12 million, mixed-income development fenced on two sides, will span six acres, Bates said, with a projected construction time of 14 months.
Bates said he has held at least one meeting with residents adjacent to the development site and assured them the apartments will be rented to “working-class people.”
Code Enforcement Director Margaret Doucet said the restaurant will be built on a front section of parking lot space owned by Jacob and Mary Ann Abdalla Properties in the 600 block of Creswell.
The Board also approved a variance request because the restaurant which will require a 25-foot setback rather than the 40 feet required by the zoning ordinance, Doucet said.
Doucet explained that the deli will be constructed in the front section of a larger shopping center parking lot and share parking arrangements.
Crowne Parc Residential Development
Developer David Hensgens of River Bend Development Inc. and land owner Harold Foreman sparred with city attorney Travis Broussard during Tuesday’s meeting over proposed permitting and connectivity costs for the development scheduled to locate behind Giles Automotive.
Hensgens told the Board the project, which includes a 72-acre tract of land, would include as many 215 home sites ranging from $195,000 to $225,000.
Foreman and Hensgens each told the Board that they assumed prior to the meeting that the city had agreed to their proposals for inspection permits and fees in addition to other required connections.
Hensgens and Foreman also told the Board the development proposed will proceed in several phases. It will include 10 additional lots fronting I-49 for further development and could provide the city and parish with about $8,100 per home in sales tax revenue and an estimated $86,000 annually in property taxes.
Before the project can move forward, Hensgens said, the city has to decide exactly what it will cost the developer and builder in permitting fees.
The Board also approved an ordinance to annex the Crowne Parc property into the city.