Historic building faces possible demolition

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) –The building on the corner of Grolee and Main Street in Opelousas is the latest property facing possible demolition, but being that the building is part of the historic downtown district, there is a chance to save it.

The building, which has stood in downtown Opelousas for over a century, was donated to the city 3 years ago. However, with its roof collapsing and damaging the interior of the building, it has since become a concern in the eyes of code enforcement. Lance Ned with code enforcement says the building could pose danger.

“From a safety standpoint, is it safe for the citizens? Probably not,” said Ned.

With code enforcement pitching the idea to demolish the building, city council members including Marvin Richard feel it would be more fitting to look for investors that can purchase the building from the city and bring it back to life, while also saving money for the city.

“I think we should give investors opportunity to see what they can do with it. It’s in the historic district, it’s opportunity for someone to turn this building into something instead of knocking it down and just having dead concrete. It’s a better chance that we can see growth in our city,” said Richard.

With that mindset at the forefront, the city council gave the Opelousas Main Street Program 90 days to come up with alternate plans that can save the building from being torn down and continue the mission to revitalize downtown Opelousas.

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“We want them to have the opportunity to find investors. Considering the history of the building, if we could find someone that just would take responsibility on upgrading the building, to my heart and I think the community we’d rather the building be revamped than torn down,” said Richard.

Richard says any investors who purchase the property from the city also have a chance to take advantage of a new ordinance which is centered around helping business and property owners revitalize downtown Opelousas.

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