New commercial property being built at corner of Oak Lane, Highway 90

Local owner of the commercial property at the corner of Oak Lane and Highway 90 announced a new strip shopping center is being constructed to replace the old one, with construction expected to wrap up later this summer.

Stafford Lucky, owner of the property, said the shopping center will be approximately 5,000 square feet, roughly the same size of the prior shopping center, with five commercial spaces. The new shopping center will feature additional parking on the south side of the property, along with parking in front of the building. Additional parking, required by new parish zoning regulations, was made available by demolishing two free standing homes on the adjacent residential lots on Oak Lane, which Lucky also owned.

The prior shopping center received severe damage following Hurricane Ida, which prevented any portion of the old building from being salvaged; it was determined to be a total loss.

“Hurricane Ida picked up the roof on the east side of the building and laid the roof in the middle of Oak Lane, like an umbrella,” owner Lucky said of the storm damage his building sustained. “The walls and slab were too badly damaged from the storm, so we had to demolish the entire property.”

Like many other local residents, owner Lucky said he had hoped to start rebuilding faster, but had a series of delays that prevented him from beginning work sooner. He first had an insurance delay, and when the insurance funds were finally received, there were numerous pre-construction and permitting related hurdles to overcome, which delayed the rebuild longer. Surveys, permits, architectural drawings and other steps had to be first supplied before being able to begin work.

Since the property had to be completely rebuilt, it was subject to new parish zoning requirements which changed the parameters of the replacement building in several ways, including the additional parking requirement.

“The setbacks, for example, are a little deeper than they were before due to new parish zoning requirements,” Lucky commented.

The strip mall was originally Lucky’s father’s property, who first bought the property in the 1960s and initially sold used cars from the lot there. He later built the strip mall in its place with six commercial tenants. Lucky inherited the property and has continued to manage it over the years.

Once construction is complete, the property’s new physical address will change slightly, from the original address of 101-115 Oak Lane to 111 Oak Lane, Units 1 thru 5.

As to the tenants that will inhabit the building, the prior Edward Jones tenant is expected to return to the corner location as soon as the rebuild is done, which is currently estimated to wrap up around July. Lucky’s prior strip mall at this location had previously housed Oak Lane Snowballs, a local summertime favorite spot. He is actively seeking new tenants for the remaining four spaces, and is currently in talks with a prospective snowball business tenant that is considering leasing one of the remaining units.


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