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Development Announced - Tuesday, April 6, 2004
General plans were revealed Monday for the development of the more-than-3,300-acre property once home to three sugarcane plantations and commonly known as Acadia Plantation.
Ronald Adams and Jacob Giardina bought the land late last year for $9.5 million.

Speaking before members of the Bayou Industrial Group, Giardina described a preliminary goal of creating a walkable, bikeable, multiple-use development to attract people from Lafourche Parish and beyond.

Thibodaux, with its university, “first class hospital” and close proximity to popular hunting and fishing spots, among other attributes, has “a lot to offer,” Giardina said.

“ We are just as close (in traveling time) as the developments across Lake Pontchartrain are to New Orleans.”

Giardina told BIG members that a Lafayette architect had been hired to create a master plan for the site and said a company is performing a feasibility study to determine what can be done in the area.

A company has also been hired to promote the development, he said.

A meeting scheduled for August at Nicholls will solicit public suggestions for the property. Detailed planning will follow, Giardina said.

Initial construction will likely focus on a 1,000-acre tract of land and not begin until after the first of the year. Development of all the property will not be achieved within a short period of time, Giardina said.

He refused to say which if any businesses had shown an interest in locating to Acadia Plantation. However, Nicholls State University officials earlier this year acknowledged that the school is looking to expand and is working to purchase additional land from the plantation site, adjacent to the school.

Michael Davis, assistant vice president for business affairs at Nicholls, said the university has entered negotiations to purchase a portion of the land.

Nicholls spokesman Michael Delaune confirmed today that the state has allocated $2.5 million to buy a portion of the Acadia property immediately adjacent to the university.

An appraisal is being performed on the land, Delaune said.

Delaune could not quantify the acreage sought by Nicholls, but said it was a “significant portion of land.”

In addition, officials from the South Louisiana Economic Council have indicated their desire to build a 130,000-square-foot advanced technology center on the land.

Vic Lafont, director of SLEC, said the group has secured 11 acres of land and is working on bringing in the Lafourche Parish 911 service, the public library and four other companies he would not name.

As for the plantation home itself, Giardina said plans are still “in the air,” and that its current occupant will remain in the house for now.

By Emilie Bahr - Staff Writer
The Daily Comet - 12:00AM


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