Brick warehouse to be renovated
LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana Housing Finance Agency awarded the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority a $1 million grant to transform a brick warehouse near downtown into loft-style apartments for artists.
The 15-unit development at 114 Olivier St., is estimated to cost about $2.2 million and construction could start in October, said John Arceneaux, chairman of the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority.
The Public Trust Financing Authority acquired the warehouse, along with other buildings and an adjacent apartment development now under construction, for $1.1 million from the Acadiana Outreach Center in January. The 15,000-square-foot warehouse is nearly 100 years old and its roof is in need of repair, Arceneaux has said.
“We’re glad that we’re able to save the building and move forward with construction,” Arceneaux said.
The idea of renovating the old warehouse into apartments was conceived by the Outreach Center when it still owned the property. Hector LaSala, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette architectural professor, who worked on the Outreach Center’s design project, is collaborating with Angelle Architects on the current warehouse project, Arceneaux said.
“We’re going into full design and construction drawings so we can go out to bid,” Arceneaux said.
Public notices will be posted after the construction documents are ready, he said.
The apartments will be available for working artists who meet affordable housing income requirements. A committee that includes professional artists will be involved in the process of vetting applicants.
As part of the property purchase, the Public Trust Financing Authority also acquired another affordable and larger apartment development — Joie de Vivre, which is still under construction.
That project hasn’t been embraced by all of its neighbors. The Public Trust Financing Authority recently voted to develop a master plan for the remaining properties it acquired in the neighborhood and involve the community.
Architects Southwest, the master planner for both Lafayette Consolidated Government and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has been selected to lead the Public Trust Financing Authority’s master plan effort, Arceneaux said.
Community meetings will likely start in about four weeks, he said.