You probably remember the news over the summer about a proposed 20-floor, $140 million multi-use set of high rises coming to Downtown Lafayette. The project is called Seven16 Lafayette Tower and will be located at 716 Lafayette Street.

Many area residents wondered if such a lofty project would even be feasible or if it would stick out like a sore thumb.

Whatever the case, before the project has really gotten started, plans are now changing. Developer Cliff Guidry with Guidry Land Development says it will now only include one tower instead of two and could be developed as a 120-room hotel and restaurant.

The initial plans called for parking garages on the first seven floors of each building, a patio area on the eighth floor, commercial space up to the 16th floor and a hotel or condominiums on the top three floors with a rooftop patio on the 20th floor.

Guidry told The Acadiana Advocate that one hotel did a feasibility study with results that "we would have liked to have been more favorable."

"We're still working with an architect on moving forward," Guidry went on to say. "We're continuing to move forward. We can't sit around. I believe the community wants it to happen and the city wants it to happen. We're doing everything in our power to keep moving this project forward."

The project, on whatever scale, is still planned to be built next door to the federal courthouse.

Guidry has had success with a huge project in Orange Beach, Alabama, and cited that experience as motivation to build a similar project in Lafayette.

However, interest in condos here never really materialized. He told members of the Downtown Development Association at its meeting last month that commercial and residential interest in the project was lower than expected and the project would be changing.

Real estate agent David Gleason stated during DDA's Lunch N Learn event last week that interest still remains from a New Orleans-based restaurant group. The group "wants to be here in Lafayette," Gleason said, even noting that a deal is close.

"We're making progress," Gleason said. "In the development world, it's a slow process, especially when you're having to tweak a design and make changes as you go. Right now the focus is on one tower. Just depends on how it all plays out."

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