Gov. John Bel Edwards other local, regional and federal leaders were present on Thursday for the groundbreaking of the Villages of Imperial Pointe.
The 75-acre development in South Lake Charles will include a 129-unit, age-restricted independent living facility as well as a host of other wellness facilities, professional offices and retail/residential spaces.
Dr. John Noble Jr., managing partner of the Villages of Imperial Pointe, said the development of the Villages of Imperial Point is “our contribution to the rebuilding of Southwest Louisiana.” Thursday marked the beginning of phase two which is expected to take around 18 months to complete and is appraised at $44 million.
Units at the Villages are “not just apartments,” Noble said. Rather, “they’re apartment buildings on steroids” with a variety of amenities surrounding the property.
Upon completion of the apartments, development will move east with an assisted living facility, memory care facility and possibly a skilled nursing facility, he said. To the north, acreage is designated for a hospital or healthcare facilities and the west will include a surgery center, wellness facility and retail spaces.
Edwards said the occasion was cause to celebrate as it signals the resiliency of Southwest Louisiana. “Every time I come, I see improvement. I know we still have a long ways to go but you’re working very hard.”
The Villages of Imperial Pointe will help meet the critical need for housing, a woe Southwest Louisiana knows all too well, he said. “You know better than I do, we’ve had a shortage of housing in Lake Charles before we ever got the first hurricane or the second or the winter storm.”
A project many years in the making, The Villages of Imperial Pointe “is a real, tangible indication that not only are you not defeated, but you’re moving forward,” he added.
The apartment homes in the development will be limited to residents 62 years or older meeting an important need as the storm recovery can be especially distressing for the elderly, he said. “Losing a home is difficult at any age…But when you’re near retirement age people are looking to downsize and get to where they want to be for the rest of their lives.”
In addition to celebrating Thursday’s groundbreaking, Edwards expressed his commitment to ensuring the region’s full economic recovery. Edwards and Senator Clay Higgins, R-LA, expressed optimism regarding a future federal disaster supplemental appropriation to aid in recovery.