LEDA and several community partners have kicked of a yearlong engagement with Neighborhood Evolution's Monte Anderson, to address economic revitalization and redevelopment in North Lafayette and other distressed parts of the Parish. LEDA’s community partners include LPTFA; Habitat for Humanity; Oasis, McComb-Veazey, Freetown-Port Rico, Quiet Town, and LaPlace neighborhood coteries; Destiny of Faith; and Community Foundation of Acadiana.
Anderson is a town builder and advocate for community building with decades of experience in small scale development and redevelopment in the Dallas region. He now coaches small developers nationwide and guides cities on how to create the proper environment for economic stabilization through local investments in their neighborhoods. His expertise includes incremental development, adaptive reuse, infill development, small scale development, property-specific financing, property ownership and financial management, and management and landlord tactics.
“When I heard Monte speak at a conference in 2021, I was impressed with his expertise and immediately saw the value bringing his programming to Lafayette Parish,” says Mandi Mitchell, president and CEO of LEDA. “My goal for this community-wide engagement with Monte and his team is to inspire, educate, and build the community's capacity for economic revitalization and equitable development.”
In 2022, LEDA released a set of goals and recommendations for the economic revitalization of North Lafayette. Those goals touched upon new business recruitment, workforce development and educational attainment, entrepreneurship, and minority business development including access to capital, and revitalization and redevelopment. The engagement with Neighborhood Evolution will begin to address many of these topics.
Three main goals for the program are: to inspire the community to see a brighter future for North Lafayette; to educate the community on small-scale, incremental development and build capacity among local individuals and developers to engage in this work; and to attract investment to North Lafayette and other distressed parts of the Parish.
Over the next 11 months, LEDA and Neighborhood Evolution will host several in-person and virtual events to address these goals—four in-person intensive workshops to be held once per quarter and 12 virtual sessions called The 12 Steps to Town Making covering Anderson’s core principles.
Presentations: Elevate North Lafayette Keynote
(2.9.23)12 Steps to Town Making: Step 1
(2.28.23)12 Steps to Town Making: Step 2
(3.21.23)Farming Your Community Seminar
Monte Anderson is President of Options Real Estate Investments Inc, a multi-service real estate firm specializing in developing sustainable neighborhoods in Southern Dallas and Northern Ellis counties. He is both an advocate and practitioner of incremental development and is often found speaking and teaching across the country on the Cultivating of Local Neighborhoods. Monte’s most recent project is Wheatland Plaza in Duncanville, TX, a 90,000 square-foot retail shopping center makeover that will include a food hall anchor, 11 hotel rooms, a co-working space, and various other local retail, restaurant and office type users. Beckley Settlement in South Dallas recently opened at 100% occupancy with 35 office and service providers. Monte previously served on the Duncanville, Texas City Council. He is the founding President of the North Texas Chapter of Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and was a co-founder of the Incremental Development Alliance.