When Terrica Smith first dreamt of starting a business in real estate, nearly 100 people demotivated her and despite the financial setback, she just kept moving forward.
As the owner of Cachet Real Estate, an agent with Real Broker LLC and managing partner for Salt Capital Equity Group, she had an idea of bringing to life the Madeline Cove project, a housing development planned for Madeline Avenue on the city’s north side. Now that funding is in order, the plan is to break ground in six months on the $14 million development that will feature 30 affordable homes, 60 town homes, a 50-unit senior complex, and a retail building.
Terrica Smith, who is in her mid-30s, has carved a niche in a field dominated by mostly white men. She’s also a former foster child who aged out of the system at age 16 and later spent time living on the streets of New Orleans. Smith landed in Lafayette after Hurricane Katrina and then enrolled in real estate school.
The project, which still has to go through the municipal permitting process before breaking ground, aims to address the housing needs of the city’s north side. While the Brook Pointe apartments now under construction and other projects will help, Madeline Cove will offer homes for sale that will be priced at $150,000 (N54,450,000) and below, Smith said. The development will resurrect the Madeline Cove project, which went dormant after previous developers installed the street lights, drainage and electricity and even began building the first house before activities halted.
Once the developers get the development replatted, construction can begin and the team will be utilizing the Opportunity Zone programme for the project, Smith noted. Earlier in January 2020, Smith visited the White House along with other Acadiana leaders and business officials to speak about the area’s progress with the Opportunity Zone programme.
That’s a significant jump from a time where she was living under an overpass on Claiborne Avenue as a teenager while caring for her son.
Smith detailed her experience and struggle with being homeless in her book “Frightened, Scared and Alone No More,” which she published in 2018.