Mayors Advisory Committee results in creation of Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Lafayette Unlimited which have the same mission: economic, physical and social/cultural redevelopment of downtown Lafayette.
DDA is a public agency - works on behalf of the City. Undertakes comprehensive planning and works with the City to facilitate “bricks and mortar” capital projects.
DLU is a private, non-profit corporation. City-wide volunteer member base. Public awareness, advocacy, promotion. Assists DDA/City.
Effort to date can be viewed in terms of a 4 - phase organizational process:
PHASE 1 1983-1986
Start-up. Emphasis on organizing and bringing people into the effort
Awareness & volunteer development
Events & promotions
Small scale projects - volunteer oriented assisting private business
PHASE 2 1986-1989
Benchmark - Staff and operating funds created
Comprehensive plans undertaken and adopted
Events and festivals expanded
Continued Small Scale projects
PHASE 3 1989-1993
Implementation of the Growth Management Plan (GMP) is launched and becomes the basis for combined activities for DDA/DLU working in conjunction with the City of Lafayette. Project-specific planning commences on various public improvements and facilities.
PHASE 4 1993-Today
Special election held in 1993 and downtown assessment is approved. In 1994, special assessment funds are used to supplement public services such as security, cleaning and maintenance, to provide and enhance marketing and promotions/events, and to facilitate capital improvement projects. Public and private projects such as the renovation and adaptive re-use of the Evangeline Hotel and the Children’s Museum of Acadiana are undertaken.
Construction on the first capital project - Jefferson Street Improvements is undertaken and new businesses and real estate activity commence.
Plans and funding for subsequent projects such as Phase 2 of Lafayette Streetscape, the Natural History Museum &Planetarium, the Central Parks Network, and the Multi-Modal Transportation Center move through preliminary plans and into the intermediate/final plan/funding stage with construction expected through 1999 & 2000.
GROWTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
City’s blue-print for public and private decision making to revitalize and redevelop downtown Lafayette in terms of:
Economic restructuring & development
Physical revitalization/urban design
Social interaction/cultural enhancement
18-month public process:
Data gathering, analysis, plans (1987-1988)
Implementation Starts (1989/90)
GMP stresses comprehensive approach & provides the framework:
Key strategies (seven critical actions)
Goals and objectives (five development sections)
Underlying Principle - GMP and Implementation Process:
Redevelopment is a complex process - takes time - no “quick-fix.”
Calls for comprehensive and synergistic approach; actions integrated with one another and to the overall market/economy.
Cannot expect to attract significant outsider investment on a recurring basis or reach the necessary “critical mass” until and unless the basics are in place and working.
Start in the core, reinforce what exists, build it up and move outward to connect all parts.
Timing is critical in both the public and private sector. Decisions and projects must be timely to meet the conditions/opportunities as they arise.