Feb 3, 2011 7:11 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Five buildings in New Iberia are being torn down this week after more than a decade of being a haven for illegal drug activity
Resident Jeff Boney said, "if you want to use drugs this is the street here that you'd find it on."
Boney is talking about South Hopkins Street and more specifically about the 400 block.
Until now, it was home to five vacant buildings. Officials say it was a hotspot for illegal drug activity.
Dr. Rufus Loud rented out a space in one of the buildings to operate his dental practice in the 70s and 80s. He said, "by the time I closed my practice there was rampant drug activity in the community."
His father-in-law,Sylvester Deplanter developed the property.
Deplanter's daughter, Gwendolyn Loud, owns the land now. She said, "he developed it to provide jobs for the black people in our community."
The first building went up in 1929--it was a club and a cafe. Over the years, the building housed a number of other things including a pool hall, a doctors office and a storage facility.
Loud learned of the drug activity about ten years ago and locked the doors.
She said, "to learn that drugs were being sold that was devastating to me."
The property will sit empty for now. Loud hopes one day this plot of land will be developed into something New Iberia would be proud of.
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