by Lauren Pope, staff writer
The Americana development team decided to get a true picture of the economic activity in Zachary, and what they discovered has huge implications for the city’s development. Developer Charles Landry had a hunch that Zachary was being undervalued by market feasibility studies. “They’re traditionally only looking East and West,” he explained in a presentation he gave today to the Zachary City Council on Economic Development.
The study, commissioned in part of the planned Americana phase 7.1 and 7.2 expansion, showed that the true trade area of Zachary extends from Airline Highway to the South and all the way to the Mississippi state line in the North. This knowledge drastically expands the numbers and types of businesses that Zachary can support.
The study also verified what most Zachary business owners already suspected. Councilman James Graves explained that he sees it with his own customers and estimated that 15% come from Mississippi.
Landry is already putting this knowledge to use. He has added square footage to the original plans for a grocery store in Americana. That grocer will anchor a new commercial area located just off Mount Pleasant that will also include a new restaurant and retail space. It will be served by a new traffic light that will also give protected access to the High Plains subdivision. “When we decide where to put these things, we think about what’s best for Zachary as a whole, not just for Americana. Equivalent Value is part of the cooperative endeavor agreement.”
When Americana was planned out in 2011, there was a list of priorities that the city and the developers agreed upon as part of creating the Americana Economic Development District. Some of those priorities have shifted in order over the years, but the vision of a Traditional Neighborhood Development remains the same. In addition to the new commercial area, Americana and The City of Zachary have planned a Zachary monument and additional landscaping on Mount Pleasant medians.
A Traditional Neighborhood Development is expensive for developers because so much has to be done on the front end. The benefits though, speak for themselves. Businesses and residents are attracted to the immaculately maintained and meticulously planned area. Because there was so much groundwork done in the beginning, the new phases will be settling into an area with mature trees and a solid tax base. So, even though we don’t know exactly which grocery chain is coming (although we have heard some rumors!) we do know that it will be a high end space with the same character that Americana has worked so hard to develop.
For more exciting developments and additions coming to Zachary, stay tuned for the Summer 2023 edition for a special feature on Zachary’s “RenaiZance.” And for more information on Americana’s Economic Development District, click here.