LAFAYETTE — The process to find a suitable location for a larger veterans clinic in Lafayette is officially under way.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a pre-bid conference for interested developers at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Courtyard Marriot, 214 E. Kaliste Saloom Road, according to a public notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
The VA wants to lease 29,029 square feet for a community-based outpatient clinic. New construction is also an option for the clinic, according to the notice.
Initial offers are due by 4 p.m. Aug. 31.
Property scouts visited the area in the spring for a market survey of potential sites and identified four sites that met the general criteria for the clinic’s development:
- 12 acres at Kaliste Saloom and Republic Avenue.
- 10.9 acres at 3131 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, across from the Wal-Mart store.
- 5.8 acres at University Avenue and Alcide Domingue.
- 5.48 acres on Ambassador Caffery Parkway across from Sam’s Club.
While the sites were included in the public notice, they may not be available for purchase or development, the public notice stated.
“The VA is providing the site location and condition of approval simply so interested developers have an understanding of what sites have been approved,” the notice stated. “Developers must contact the site owners directly for further information regarding the sites.”
The search for the site began in late 2010 and local veterans were hopeful that a deal with developers would be signed by December, but a technical error detected in paperwork set the Lafayette project and the selection of a new clinic site for Lake Charles back by at least a year.
Because the errors could not be corrected, the site selection process for both projects had to be restarted.
At least 24,455 square feet of space is needed for the Lake Charles veterans outpatient clinic, according to the notice. The space should be ready for occupancy by March 1, 2014.
VA officials have said that construction of the new, expanded Lafayette clinic will likely be complete by spring 2014.
After the setback, Louisiana’s congressional leaders pushed VA officials to expedite the site selection process.
The public notice for offers was issued on July 20, ahead of the VA’s anticipated August release.
Meanwhile, the VA expanded services available at the existing Lafayette clinic and opened a mobile clinic in Lake Charles.
Those new services have been available since May.