10 months since the Lafayette City-Parish Council voted to sell the blighted site of the former federal courthouse to private developers, the project is now moving forward. Project developers have erected a construction fence around the property, indicating an end to the due diligence period and the beginning of the construction phase.
The Old Federal Courthouse project (or OFCH) has been in the works since November 2018, when the city-parish council approved the sale of the property to a group of private developers. The OFCH building, which has been vacant for decades, is identified as a catalyst project for Downtown Lafayette. Many have advocated for the site’s redevelopment, citing it’s potential to increase the residential population of Downtown and create vibrancy on a long neglected stretch of Jefferson Street.
The plans for the renovation include the creation of 68 apartment units and 25,000 square feet of commercial space. Construction was originally intended to begin in July, but concerns about environmental remediation led the developers to apply for a 90-day extension to obtain federal funding to offset remediation costs. The project has a “substantial completion” deadline of December 31, 2020.