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Lafayette testing the soil at a vacant property downtown

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Mike Loizzo
/
WBAA Radio

Lafayette is taking steps to ensure the right development fits a vacant lot downtown.

The city razed the old Queen Anne Courts apartment complex this summer. Officials hope to find a new mixed-use project for the corner of 4th and Alabama streets.

Economic Development Director Dennis Carson says they’re testing the stability of the ground now for future buildings.

“If we do have someone who has an idea for a project, we have this information on hand, so we don’t have to go find it and make the process even longer.”

He says he’s approached different developers about acquiring the property from the city, but has not had any offers come in yet. The city paid $500,000 for the site and spent roughly $210,000 on the demolition.

Tim Balensiefer, president of TBird Design Services will oversee the work. He says they’ll test the stability of the soil and how it handles storm water.

“We’re trying to do more green infrastructure for water quality and put the storm water back into the ground, instead of having it run down through the sewers that end up in the treatment plant.”

He says the likely size of any future building on the property will be no more than five stories. The site had a three-story apartment complex and house on it before those were demolished this summer.

The soil boring and testing process should take about two weeks.

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