A powerful and positive sonic boom is echoing across Southwest Louisiana. A whopping $117 billion in industrial investments is completed or projected to be finished by 2020 in the five-parish area of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis.
The explosive growth is fueling an unprecedented fury in the development and construction of residential projects, providing much in-demand single-family homes and multifamily units.
“Affordable housing and employment opportunity go hand in hand in allowing an area to grow economically,” says Brandon Jones, area manager for DSLD Homes, which is creating new residences, including apartments at the Belle Sevane development in Sulphur. “Southwest Louisiana is blessed with an abundance of developable land. We have a wonderful and eager trade base, which help with the affordability issue as compared to other areas of the U.S.”
Growth forecasts compiled by the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance are hotter than a bottle of the state’s legendary pepper sauce. The region of nearly 303,000 people is projected to increase by as many as 25,000 residents in the next five years.
Lake Charles is the region’s largest city, and according to the U.S. Commerce Department, had the fastest-growing economy in the nation in 2016.
Also, it is worth noting the Lake Charles MSA encompasses Moss Bluff and Sulphur, places that nailed down a spot in NerdWallet’s top 25 best cities to raise a family in Louisiana. Their findings were based on affordability of homes, quality of education and family friendliness.
Belle Savane, MorganField, Walnut Grove
In fact, Zillow shows the median price tag of homes in the Lake Charles MSA is about 84 percent of the national average. Coming in at under $190,000, it is a welcome mat for all ages, from millennials to baby boomers, in a rising marketplace.
The growth is spurring dynamic neighborhoods such as Belle Savane, MorganField and Walnut Grove. Belle Sevane and MorganField are the vision of Southern Lifestyle Development Co., the mastermind behind the highly successful River Ranch in Lafayette, Louisiana. Walnut Grove is a traditional neighborhood development located along the banks of the Contraband Bayou and is the vision of Walnut Grove Development LLC.
Far from the day of erecting rows of homes with a large entrance sign, the buzz today is about creating a strong sense of community.
“We focus on building a lifestyle not just churning out lots for people to put homes on. A variety of amenities are offered — all within walking distance from their front door,” says Katherine Roy, deputy chief operating officer at Southern Lifestyle. “We encourage people to get out and know their neighbors in MorganField.”
Southwest Louisiana Homes
These developments are primarily high-density and a combination of either just residential or mixed-use and feature a blend of self-contained residential, commercial and community spaces. Residents can enjoy green oases such as parks and playgrounds, walking, jogging and biking paths, pools, restaurants, professional office space and services, live entertainment and retail establishments, all nearby.
“At Walnut Grove, we are bringing it back to how neighborhoods used to be traditionally. Our homes have a historic feel with all the modern amenities,” says Abby Cagle, residential real estate agent in Lake Charles. “It is a safe, convenient place where people can share a glass of wine while watching their kids play.”
Jones added their company is ready to assist the people attracted to Southwest Louisiana because of new job opportunities with energy-efficient, quality homes in Belle Sevane.
Says Jones; “Our motto at DSLD Homes is ‘We build great homes for great people at great prices.’”