New development to include restaurants, fitness center

Restaurants and a fitness center are planned as part of the first phase of commercial growth in a 125-acre River Ranch-style development in north Lafayette.

The developers of Couret Farms announced Wednesday that Anytime Fitness and the Italian restaurant Romacelli will help fill 11,000 feet of commercial space that will soon be under construction.

Zeus Café, a local chain of Mediterranean restaurants, and a Subway sandwich franchise are also eyeing spots in the new commercial space, but those deals are still pending, said Robert Daigle, the developer of River Ranch in Lafayette and Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville who is now developing the new Couret Farms planned community off Pont des Mouton Road.

Couret Farms will be the first so-called “traditional neighborhood development” in north Lafayette — a dense community that mixes homes and apartments with restaurants, retail space and offices.

“We kept hearing from people on the north side of the parish, ‘When are you coming here?,’” Daigle said.

Construction of homes began last year at Couret Farms, and Daigle said the development is expected to be built out within the next six to eight years.

Plans call for 450 to 500 single-family homes and about 160 to 170 apartments, mostly located above commercial space similar to what’s seen in Main Street at River Ranch.

More than 100,000 square feet of commercial and office space is planned.

The Couret Farms development is also the site of the Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy, one of three new charter schools opening next school year in Lafayette Parish.

About 30 homes have been completed for the first phase of 70 homes at Couret Farms, and all 70 homes have been sold, Daigle said.

He said development already has commitments on 28 homes in the second phase of 77 homes to be built.

“We only put them on the market last week,” he said.

Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation Director Jan Swift said that new community is a welcome addition to the area, bringing good residential offerings as well as meeting a strong demand for more retail and restaurants north of Interstate 10.

“It’s opening the door to a new tomorrow for our community,” she said.