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$325 million development planned for Gonzales

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GONZALES - An upscale mixed-use community with a $325 million price tag could transform undeveloped land in Gonzales if the city allows it.

Lafayette-based Southern Lifestyle Development wants to purchase a property used as a cattle ranch on Highway 44 just south of the interstate. Plans call for nine lakes with playgrounds, parks and jogging trails to go along with restaurants, shopping and residential lots.

"In addition to those amenities we're also going to have commercial offices and retail," said Prescott Bailey of Southern Lifestyle Development. "We expect to have a large number of restaurants, banks, boutiques. We've been getting a lot of calls from retailers since our announcement, so we're very excited."

Residents we spoke with who live near the land have mixed feelings. They want to know more before making judgement on if the development is good for their neighborhood, but residents are hopeful that it will benefit them in the long run.

"I think it can increase our home values if they keep it the way they say they're going to keep it," said resident Donna Brignac. "If they make the lakes and the nice parks, nice homes and nice restaurants. I think that would increase out home values, which is always a good thing for a homeowner."

Developers say it would take about six years to build the community. If approved, infrastructure work could begin this summer.



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