White House Officials Tour Opelousas for Opportunity Zone Round Tables

(August 6, 2019) – Members of the White House Opportunity Revitalization Council (WHORC) met with local, regional and state leaders on Tuesday at the Opelousas Civic Center as part of a two city tour to discuss the Federal government initiative of the Opportunity Zone.   Last year, Governor John Bel Edwards designated four Opportunity Zone tracts in St Landry Parish, which are located in Opelousas.  The primary goal of the Opportunity Zone program is to put private capital to work for lasting economic development in distressed communities. 

Mayor Julius Alsandor and city officials are ready to assist investors interested in Opelousas. The City of Opelousas is an ideal location to maximize the benefits of Opportunity Zone investments.

Some of those in attendance which included WHORC Director Scott Turner, Delta Region Authority Executive Director Chris Caldwell, State Representative Dustin Miller, Acadiana Planning Commission (APC) Director Monique Boulet and Chad Lacombe, Downtown Development District chairperson Lena Charles, SLEDD Executive Director Bill Rodier, Tourism Director Melanie Lebouef, Police Chief Martin McLendon, Chamber Director Raquella Manuel, Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine, business leaders, city council members, interested citizens, and potential investors. 

The round table discussion was followed later by a tour of the city’s newly acquired commercial property, the New Life Center, located on East Landry Street in downtown Opelousas.   The building, which was originally built as a hotel in the late 1950s, is located in the middle of the Opportunity Zone and could be the focal point of new businesses and affordable housing in downtown Opelousas.   White House Officials visited Lafayette on Wednesday to discuss designated tracts and opportunities. 

Agencies that helped to organize the visit in Opelousas included White House liaison Melanie Palmas, the regional business chamber One Acadiana, South Louisiana Community College, the Acadiana Planning Commission and City of Opelousas.