Contractors recently broke ground on a $115 million retail project at Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette, La.


The shopping center will be segmented into four quadrants with more than 425,000 square feet of retail space spread out over 58 acres.


The project is being constructed by a joint venture between Stirling Properties and CBL & Associates Properties, one of the country's largest developers and owners of shopping centers. Stirling Properties Senior Leasing Consultant Ryan Pecot says the center is being constructed on a 120-acre parcel of clear land at one of the city's busiest intersections.


Construction is being divided into two segments, private construction and public infrastructure work that includes utilities and approximately two miles of public roadway.


"The public infrastructure work is a large part of this project. The public roadways will be built to city standards and dedicated back to the city upon completion," says Pecot.


The site work will include paved lots with more than 2,500 parking spaces. Pecot says secondary contractors will be working on the "bricks and sticks" buildings. Some of the biggest include Costco (154,000 sq. ft.), Dick's Sporting Goods, Field & Stream and Marshall's (50,000 sq. ft. each). There will also be an adjoining 6-acre storm water management area and an additional 66 acres available for future development.


The project is one of the largest in Lafayette and is expected to create approximately 2,200 construction jobs, 1,000 permanent jobs and generate more than $9 million in annual sales taxes.


Pecot says public infrastructure improvements are being funded through a payment in lieu of tax arrangement (PILOT). Under the deal, the Industrial Development Board for Lafayette Parish has agreed to allocate an estimated $11.5 million of (future) property taxes to build the public infrastructure.