Downtown Broussard development in the works; city to unveil master plan

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As the city of Broussard prepares to unveil a master plan for its downtown district, at least one developer is ready to break ground on projects.

Clifton Guidry’s plan for Parc des Aimee, which will be located at 403 E. Main St. across from Broussard City Hall, includes a quaint cafe with outdoor seating and a courtyard with a gazebo where people can connect.

“That’s the vision,” Guidry said. “We’re hoping people can use the space to gather and network and socialize since it’s across from city hall.”

The concept aligns with ideas shared during Envision Downtown Broussard last year. The initiative brought together city leaders, developers and residents at public meetings in June.

But to realize that vision, downtown Broussard needs more parking.

Guidry approached Broussard leaders last month with an idea — he would donate a piece of property near his planned development to the city as long as it is dedicated to public parking.

Broussard Mayor Ray Bourque said the 11,600-square-foot property donation is worth about $52,000. City Engineer Walter Comeaux said parking isn’t just a problem in Broussard but in every city’s downtown district.

The city council responded mostly favorably to Guidry’s proposal at the February meeting, but no action was taken. A private-public partnership for parking could be considered by the council in the coming weeks.

Like Guidry, those who took part in Envision Downtown Broussard last summer also cited parking as a top concern.

They envisioned Broussard as a true city center that blends the old with the new, connecting Main Street to other thoroughfares in the area through sidewalks and bike lanes. But parking would still be a necessity, especially for a driving city that’s known for its oilfield service industry.

A master plan for downtown Broussard that incorporates ideas from last year’s meetings has been developed to guide the city’s growth. The master plan will be unveiled during a public event at 5:30 p.m. Monday at The Ballroom in Broussard.

Guidry said the city’s initiative, which was developed to tackle infrastructure issues while encouraging economic activity, inspired him to invest in downtown Broussard.

He is ready to break ground on Parc des Aimee and has lined up a few tenants for his planned development, including Heritage Wealth Management, a hair studio called The Parlor and a State Farm insurance office. He has an additional 1,200 square feet available for a cafe or restaurant concept and another 800 square feet for other businesses at Parc des Aimee.

The retail development is named for his wife, Aimee.

Guidry has named four area subdivisions — Crystal Cove, Lexi Falls, Talon Estates and Paige Place — for their four children.

“I never did name anything after my wife,” Guidry said. “Since this is special to me and it’s in downtown Broussard, I wanted to name this for her.”

Guidry owns a number of properties in downtown Broussard and is hoping to invest further in the district. Another project he plans to break ground on soon is The Sax Condominiums at 70 E. Main St.

“This is just the beginning,” Guidry said. “I’m hoping the community can have a place to gather and walk around, visit, have a drink or a nice little meal, listen to music. It would be nice to get people downtown to see the heritage that Broussard has.”

Read full article at The Advocate.