Walnut Grove using repurposed material to create unique developm - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Walnut Grove using repurposed material to create unique development

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

As new construction continues take shape at Walnut Grove, two families are already call the growing development home.

"Of course, the commercial area generally takes longer. So, that's why we started early with the commercial part, and now we are beginning to ramp up in the residential side," said Gus Schram, Walnut Grove CEO.

Schram said several businesses are now open, including restaurant Calla, a U.S. Post Office, First Federal Bank, Morgan Stanley, and the Lawton Offices.

One of the real selling points of Walnut Grove is that it sits along Contraband Bayou and borders an estuary, which is surrounded by a boardwalk.

"28 homes that will be constructed around this estuary area. The boardwalk will be the way they access the front part of their homes. We think it's a unique feature," said Schram.

The developers are also trying to protect the estuary and nearby bayou. They've installed the first non-industrial baffle box system in Louisiana.

"All the water that comes through our storm drains passes through this baffle box system and it takes about 99 percent of the sediment and debris that gets washed into the storm drain and gets trapped in the baffle box. That will prevent it doesn't go out into the estuary and the bayou," explained Schram.

Schram said much thought has also went into incorporating old materials into not only the design of the homes but almost every aspect of the community.

"The brick walkway known as Contraband Alley is made of repurposed bricks from St. Louis, Missouri. We're using them now as paver bricks. They were originally used as masonry walls," said Schram.

The neighborhood lighting is also custom. The design may appear to look like the first street light called the "Old London Lantern," but it uses state of the art LED technology.

"We're taking the oldest and combining it with the newest technology," said Schram.

Once complete the development will have about 180 homes and 92,000 square feet of commercial space. According to Schram, more businesses are also expected to open, including another restaurant and a coffee shop within the next six months.

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