Iberville hopes new medical center will help lure local housing market boom

Iberville hopes new medical center will help lure local housing market boom

IBERVILLE, LA (WAFB) - West Baton Rouge realtors are having a tough time keeping up with the demand when it comes to people wanting to buy homes. Now, Iberville Parish is about to give West Baton Rouge some competition, with the help of a new medical center.

Clonise Stewart is a real estate agent in West Baton Rouge Parish who said she's been extremely busy lately. She said it's a seller's market with interest rates low so homes, specifically in Addis and Brusly, are selling before they even make it out on the market. It's why if you drive down La 1, you will see new neighborhoods and new construction just about everywhere.

"I think it's a lot of people moving here, and it's because of the industry we have here as well," said Addis Mayor David Toups.

Toups said on average, realtors are closing about 15 homes a month. The mayor and Stewart said that's on track with the major boom they saw after Hurricane Katrina in 2006 and 2007.

"Last year, we saw a great increase and all the indicators are that 2015 will be an outstanding year also," said Stewart.

While the housing market is booming in Addis and Brusly, local leaders in Iberville are hoping a new medical center will help bring more homeowners to their parish.

"This is the lifesaving for the whole parish since we have been without any 24 hr major medical," said Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso.

Ourso said Hurricane Gustav destroyed the parish's only hospital in 2008. Since then, the parish has relied on hospitals in Baton Rouge, but Friday was the grand opening for a $22 million medical center in Plaquemine.

"This is going to be an emergency department and clinic and out-patient, not a hospital technically. We're going to provide 24 ER services. We're going to have outpatient clinicing and lab in the facility," said Ochsner CEO Eric McMillen.

That means they will not have in-patient treatment, but McMillen said if a patient requires in-patient, they will transfer them to a nearby hospital.

Just last month, Acadian Ambulance opened a 24/7 center on the east side of Iberville Parish in St. Gabriel.

"Now, we can bring patients to the emergency department within 20 minutes as opposed to over an hour when you fighting traffic," said Acadian Ambulance's Operations Manager Justin Cox.

Ourso said when looking where to move, people look for specific things such as good education, good infrastructure and healthcare. He said now, they have all three. So he's hoping the housing boom Addis and Brusly are seeing now, will eventually begin making its way into Iberville Parish as well.

The medical center will officially begin seeing patients Jan. 19th.

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