Walnut Grove "traditional neighborhood" unveiled to community - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Walnut Grove 'traditional neighborhood' unveiled to community


It's a development seven years in the making that many compare to River Ranch in Lafayette.

Walnut Grove is a so-called traditional neighborhood under development off West Sallier in Lake Charles.

They unveiled it Thursday and invited the community to have a look.

At first glance, the model home at Walnut Grove appears as though it could be a hundred years old, but a walk through reveals the latest in modern and contemporary living from the bathrooms and closets to the kitchen and living room.

Walnut Grove Chief Operating Officer, Gus Schram, said the idea is to create a timeless environment in a largely self-contained community.

"Everything is close enough and in proximity that people can walk from their home to a restaurant or the bank or what have you or any of the public space without having to get in the car and drive across town. Our goal here is to create a neighborhood that has a timeless feeling, that's what we call it, and what we mean by timeless feeling is that after it's all build, rather than looking like it was within a five year period it'll look like it evolved over 100 years," said Schram.

Architect Everett Schram said there are traditional elements of a neighborhood with the flavor of South Louisiana.

"We really wanted a place that connected to the existing  area around us in Lake Charles, so we have streets that connect across Riverside, we've tried to create intersections along Sallier Street, and then all of the architecture within Walnut Groves  within southern Louisiana vernacular so we have a combination of Acadian and Creole style," said Schram.

Walnut Grove is a residential and commercial development. The recently opened Lawton building provides office and retail space overlooking Contraband Bayou.

David Sorrells is chef owner of a new restaurant, Calla, opening in the spring.

"We're fine dining food in a casual atmosphere. We want to have the best food in town, the best food in the region and eventually hopefully the best food in the state but in a very non pretentious atmosphere," said Sorrells.  

Visitors like Brad Evans are impressed.

"It seems like they have gone out of their way to have a really top notch, high class development that's unlike anything in Lake Charles, really," said Evans.

Once complete, Walnut Grove will have about 180 homes and 92,000-square-feet of commercial space spread out over nearly 60 acres. For more information, click here.

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