LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - There may soon be more residential offerings in Downtown Lafayette after the Lafayette Downtown Development Authority partners with a local business owner on a big project heading into the heart of Lafayette.

Johnny Blancher, who owns and operates Rock’n’Bowl de Lafayette, is planning a major development project that could bring over 200 residential units and a city-owned parking garage Downtown.

The concept, according to a press release, is a parking garage to be located in the center of the residential development. The site is "inclusive of city-owned property where Lafayette City Court and the Lafayette City Marshal’s Office currently operate and several adjoining parcels owned by Blancher," the Lafayette Consolidated Government release said.

Rock 'n' Bowl de Lafayette, Facebook
Rock 'n' Bowl de Lafayette, Facebook

“This project is a prime example of a public-private partnership,” Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory said. “I appreciate Mr. Blancher’s interest in investing in downtown Lafayette. Combining the strength of the public sector with the power of the private sector allows us to increase our efficiency, provide better services, and retain public assets for those we serve.”

Lafayette City Council members approved funding for a downtown parking garage and much overdue downtown infrastructure needs in the Fiscal Year 2021-2022.

“The support for downtown by this administration, and the understanding of what makes all of Lafayette a better community is truly apparent," Blancher said in a statement. "For our local shops and retail storefronts to thrive downtown, residential growth is the key.”

Blueprint layout for a planned apartment complex and parking garage coming to Downtown Lafayette as part of a new public-private partnership.
Credit: Lafayette Consolidated Governemtn

According to Blancher, the project will create more opportunities for growth that will benefit generations of Lafayette locals.

“Our cooperation with Mayor Guillory and his administration will not only create parking for residents," he explained, "but also will give a lifeline for hundreds of businesses and property owners in the Downtown area. Our project will be built with beauty in mind. Other parking structures are eyesores, just drab parking structures.”

Downtown Alive!, Facebook
Downtown Alive!, Facebook


Downtown Lafayette is home to several locally-owned businesses and routinely hosts festivals and other major events along its streets. Adding more residential space and a parking garage would be a big win for those who run those businesses and run those events.

The economic impact of partnership could "create and sustain a vibrant downtown not only for our residents, but also to compete as a region for jobs and professional talent," Downtown Development Authority CEO Anita Begnaud said.

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