ASCENSION-Ascension Parish broke ground on an upscale neighborhood development on Tuesday.
The development is called the Conway Plantation and is more than 300 acres land located right off of Highway 44.
It is expected to include about 1,000 single homes and 500 apartments with restaurants and shops. Mayor of Gonzales, Barney Arceneaux, said that the development is a "jewel."
"I like the term now 'The Jewel of the South,' and other people may take claim of that but right now it's our day and I'll take claim for it," Arceneaux said.
Robert Daigle, of Southern Lifestyle Development, known for his River Ranch development in Lafayette, is the developer for the Ascension Parish project.
"We are actively starting earth work which includes construction on all of our lake systems and things of that nature but from this point forward on you're going to see an awful lot of things happening on this property," Daigle said.
However, there are concerns about traffic once the development is underway. Developers say they are working closely with DOTD to add additional roadways to help with those concerns.
"We're going to doing a two land roundabout right on Highway 44 at the entrance as well as an additional lane so we're going to be doing a lot of road improvements to help the congestion," Prescott Bailey, of Southern Lifestyle Development, said.
Mayor Arceneaux says that residents may have to deal with some impacts while construction is going on, but says it will be worth it once the development is complete.
"We'll ask our citizens just to have some patience," he said.
"Surely it's going to be tough for a while, but I can ensure you all in due time you're going to have a wonderful project and you're going to have a wonderful new road way as well," Arceneaux said.
Developers say the development will be completed in about six years.