Gonzales council waives density restriction to accommodate 279-unit Sportsman’s Park Lofts

The complex would be constructed in the green space northwest of Cabelas (Redfish Commons encircled in red)

Hoping to infuse life into failing businesses along Cabelas’ Parkway, south of Hwy 30 across the way from a bustling Tanger Outlet Malls, Gonzales’ City Council approved a waiver of its development code’s density cap for Mixed Use developments on Monday.  Sportsman’s Park Lofts envisions four structures in a “5-story multi-family complex” to include a parking garage next door to Cabelas, nearly abutting Interstate 10.  The development, 279 “lofts” on 4.44 acres requires a rezone from C-1 (Commercial) to Mixed Use, and the density waiver was approved contingent thereon.

Redfish Commons Shopping Center “has struggled and we feel like this is in the best economic interest of the city,” argued Councilman Johnny Berthelot who was joined by two colleagues in the 3-2 majority.  If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, you gotta bring Muhammad(s) to the mountain (hopefully with a lot of disposable income).

Joining Berthelot were Councilmen Harold Stewart and Kirk Boudreaux against the “NO” votes by Tim Riley and Tyler Turner.  It was the same vote composition when the necessary ordinance to rezone the subject acreage was introduced.  That vote will come at the first council meeting of January as a second December meeting will not be held.

Redfish Commons…

Redfish Commons Shopping Center (see water tower in background)

has available space to lease according to Louisiana Commercial Database.  22,548 square feet of building sitting on 2.69 acres, the space is going for $18-22 per square feet annually.

Gonzales made major infrastructure investment over the past decade or so, building a second water tower and adding significant capacity to its sewer treatment capability with an eye toward southward expansion.  Much of the anticipated tax revenue generation has failed to materialize, disappointing to elected officialdom long committed to that expansion.

City fathers dreamt of major development a few tenths of a mile south as the crow flies where Edenborne Parkway connects River Parishes Community College to Lamar Dixon Expo Center.  The subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-10 had a lot to do with derailing big plans there.  Disappointed but undaunted, the city looked across Hwy 44 where 343 acres were annexed to accommodate Conway (Plantation) mixed use development in 2012.

Conway was supposed to include a commercial strip abutting Hwy 44 when first pitched to the city, only after which would the residential subdivision units be built.  The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  Southern Lifestyle Development sold the city on a development akin to River Ranch in Lafayette before bailing on the plan.

What’s the world coming to when you can’t trust developers (sarcasm alert)?