River Ranch developers set to break ground in Lake Charles - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

River Ranch developers set to break ground in Lake Charles

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The developers of Lafayette's highly successful River Ranch are set to bring their same concept and formula to Lake Charles.

"Our development company is primarily in the business of developing smart-growth communities," said Robert Daigle, River Ranch Development Company managing partner.

The "Morganfield Development" will sit on 277 acres south of town on the north and south sides of the 3500 to 4200 block of East McNeese Street.

The developers said it will be about the same size as the River Ranch development with roughly 1,000 residential units. The homes will range from town homes to cottages, and mid-size to estate size homes.

"The project will also have a mixed-use component. We plan on having professional office space, about a half million square feet of retail over a number of years," explained Daigle.

The City of Lake Charles welcomed the development with open arms. The City Council unanimously voted to annex the 277 acres of property.

"I think our staff is ready to go in and make it a great experience for you. I think they are all ready. I think it is a great development. It's going to be sitting in my district so I hope you can fill it up quick," said Dana Carl Jackson, Lake Charles City Council.

However, with a project this size there were some traffic concerns.

"In this area, would the East McNeese Street Extension - that's going to be a very busy roadway - and I was just wondering what plans are being made to handle that kind of traffic coming in and out," said Luvertha August, Lake Charles City Council.

Lake Charles City Administrator John Cardone said with the five-lane McNeese Street Extension project, they don't expect to have any major traffic jams in the area.

Meanwhile, this is the company's first project in Lake Charles and they believe it will be a successful venture.

"This is a market that excites us. With all of the economic development about to happen here, we think it's a community that is right for something like this and we are pretty excited about it," said Daigle.

Daigle said they hope to break ground on the first phase of the development within the next 60 days. 

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