By RICHARD BURGESS
September 07, 2012
NEW IBERIA — The Iberia Economic Development Authority is planning an upscale business park the group hopes will spark activity along U.S. 90 near the Acadiana Regional Airport.
IEDA has purchased six acres near the U.S. 90/Jefferson Island Road interchange and plans to acquire another 44 acres later this year for the 50-acre first phase of Progress Point Business Park, the group announced Wednesday.
Site work could begin next year, said Cecil Hymel, chairman of the board of commissioners for the Iberia Economic Development Authority.
“We are trying to become a catalyst to help other development happen,” Hymel said.
Iberia Parish has two main industrial areas: the Port of Iberia and Acadiana Regional Airport.
The site for Progress Point is between the port and the airport and will cater to a less industrial clientele.
“This is going to be something much more refined,” Hymel said.
Plans call for high-speed Internet service, sidewalks, curb-and-gutter streets, ample parking and green space. The ideal tenants would include retailers or companies looking for quality office space, Hymel said.
Progress Point also will serve as a gateway to Acadiana Regional Airport, which is set back off of U.S. 90, said Mike Tarantino, Iberia Industrial Development Foundation executive director, who is helping oversee the development.
Progress Point is still in the early stages, Tarantino said, and no companies have made a commitment to locate at the business park, “but there has been a lot of interest.”
The ultimate goal is that the project will boost interest in that section of the U.S. 90 corridor through Iberia Parish, he said.
“We hope that private developers will build beyond this park,” he said.
The business park is the first major initiative of the Iberia Economic Development Authority, created in 2008 to help guide economic development projects in the parish.