So far For fiscal year 2011/2012 — Nov. 1, 2011, to June 14, 2012 — the Top 10 commercial permits issued by Lafayette Consolidated Government in the city of Lafayette and the unincorporated areas of the parish totaled nearly $45 million. Below are the biggest projects currently driving the commercial sector in Lafayette.

Rendering of LPSO Safety Complex - Grace and Hebert Architects

1) $24.24 million - new construction
1825 W. Willow St. (Scott)

2) $3.46 million - addition to existing facility
2810 Ambassador Caffery Parkway

Total capital investment is approximately $10 million. The hospital is adding a new 12,000-square-foot cardiovascular center on the third floor that will occupy the entire floor.

Rendering of Infiniti of Lafayette - Cress & Lopresto Architects L.L.C.

3) $3.25 million - new construction
6291 Johnston St.

Long thought to be too small a market, Lafayette has finally won the approval of Nissan’s luxury division.

Infiniti of Lafayette, which since 1998 has operated a pre-owned lot and service center at 6866 Johnston St., is making a $5 million investment in a new car dealership in the Lafayette market. The new car facility is under construction next to Hampton Toyota, about 1.5 miles closer to the Mall of Acadiana than Infiniti of Lafayette’s current location at 6291 Johnston St.

The Lafayette operation opened in the late ’90s mainly to service locals who were buying Infinitis in Baton Rouge, says John Fabre, who owns the Infiniti and Acura franchises in the Capital City and has been in the car business since 1990. Infiniti, the luxury division of automaker Nissan, likes what it sees in the local market so much that it approved Lafayette as one of only a few markets to be awarded a downsized version of its dealership model, which got a totally new look about a year ago, according to Fabre. “Infiniti, until recently, didn’t think Lafayette was a big enough market,” Fabre says. “They designed this store for a small market.”

Designed with an eye toward preserving the trio of 100-year-old oaks on the site (Bob’s Tree Preservation was brought into the process early on), the approximately 16,000-square-foot facility is being constructed on six acres — ample space to add another franchise down the road, Fabre says. “We’re not going to develop all of it immediately,” the dealer says. Does that mean there could be a dealership for Acura, Toyota’s luxury vehicle division, in Lafayette’s future? “It’s possible,” Fabre notes. “That’s the goal, but it’s not a done deal.”

Infiniti’s pre-owned car dealership and service center will vacate the location it is currently leasing on Johnston Street once the new facility is complete — possibly as early as December. Fabre says Infiniti of Lafayette now employs about 10 people and will immediately add a dozen positions when the new location opens. — Leslie Turk and Elizabeth Rose   

Rendering of Louisiana Orthopaedic Specialists - Grant Hensley/Architect
- David Burriss/Design - Erdman

4) $2.8 million - new construction

108 Rue Louis XIV

$2.35 - addition/renovation


145 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

$2.06 million - new construction

1600 Ambassador Caffery Parkway

7) $2 million - new construction
1925 Kaliste Saloom Road

Site grading is under way for several buildings, one of which is expected to be a hotel.

Popie Billeaud, Sharon Moss and Kirby Pecot. Photo by Robin May

8) $1.8 million - new construction
1545 SE Evangeline Thruway

Moss Motors makes another multi-million-dollar investment in north Lafayette.

On June 14 Moss Motors broke ground on Moss Automotive Superstore, located on a 4-acre site on Evangeline Thruway next to the Shell station near Surrey Street. The facility, which will sell a wide range of used cars at various price points — including very high-end luxury vehicles — offers easy access to the company’s existing used car lot on airport property near that intersection.

Pecot & Company Architects is designing the new location, a 4,320-square-foot sales building and 2,000-square-foot service facility, all being constructed by J.B. Mouton Inc. The center is slated to open next spring. Moss Motors secured a long-term lease on the property from Lafayette Regional Airport; the total investment is expected to be about $2.5 million.

Moss Motors owner Sharon Moss says the lot will hold about 400 units. “We’d like to have eight or 10 exotics, like Maseratis and Lamborghinis, all the way down to $2,000 vehicles,” she says.

“This is our 6th project with Moss Motors since 1997,” says Robert “Popie” Billeaud, president and owner of J.B. Mouton. “The longevity of relationships like this allows local companies like ours to grow with the community.”

The building that now services Moss’ existing used car lot on Surrey, across from the airport near the supercenter construction site, will likely become Moss’ Internet sales center. It will employ additional staff to handle phone call and email inquiries for autos listed online. About nine months ago, Moss hired Cappy Cavalier to head Internet sales, and she says Cavalier has been aggressively expanding the division since then.

Founded in 1979, Moss Motors is Lafayette’s Mercedes, BMW and Honda dealer. Last year the company ranked No. 18 on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana with $108 million in 2010 revenues. The company’s annual sales increased almost 14 percent in 2011, rising to $123 million. Moss expects 2012 to be even stronger. Boosted by the car show at Cajun field, the dealership had its best month ever in May, she says. — Leslie Turk


9) $1.6 million - new construction


515 E. Verot School Road

$1.3 million - renovation of old Kmart

3559 Ambassador Caffery Parkway

To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at


Read the Flipping Paper!

Click Here for the Entire Print Version of
IND Monthly