Representatives of the Daigle-Americana Development Group met with city leaders for a special informational meeting regarding annexation and zoning plans for Americana, a proposed mixed-use community development that will offer residential, office, commercial and civic spaces.
Located along Highway 64, the 413-acre tract must first be annexed into Zachary. Americana attorney Charles Landry led Zachary city officials, planning commissioners, department heads and councilmen through a lengthy presentation detailing the multiple phases needed to make the $500 million project a reality.
Landry said the development will be built in phases, the first including a 10-screen movie theater, an $8 million YMCA facility and single family housing.
He said developers would like to begin construction on phase one by October and that any delays in the timeline will be caused by the process, not the developers.
Landry said within the next few weeks, Americana developers will request non-binding resolutions of support from both the Zachary City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission for four project elements which must be resolved before construction can begin.
Since the property must be annexed into the city before additional plans for development can be further pursued, Americana is seeking non-binding resolutions of support for annexation, a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the city of Zachary and the development, the formation of an Economic Development District and the Traditional Neighborhood Development rezoning classification needed for the project.
“This is the first time a TND has approached Zachary, so it’s kind of a new experience,” said Landry. “We know that [the resolution] has no binding effect on this property because it’s not part of the city right now, but we want to go through the process.”
If the council and Planning Commission pass the resolutions of support, Landry said Americana developers will petition the Zachary City Council for annexation of the property, which would come into Zachary with a rural zoning classification.
After annexation, Americana developers plan to pursue a cooperative endeavor agreement with the city to form an economic development district which will fund five public improvement projects.
The five public improvement projects Landry discussed were connecting Americana to the city’s sewer system, $1.5 million in renovations to Highway 64 including a roundabout and landscaping, $850,000 in public trails which will link Zachary’s BREC park to the development, the creation of a town hall and the conversion of several ditches behind the property into culverts.
The Economic Development District will use tax increment financing to fund the projects with one cent of undedicated sales tax coming from the city and one extra cent of tax imposed in Americana.
“So far we’ve been very pleased with everything [Americana developers have] presented to us,” Mayor David Amrhein told those in attendance at the meeting. “We believe as an administration that this is a project that will define the west end of Zachary forever.”