Years ago Al Copeland Sr., founder of Popeyes Fried Chicken, purchased a big piece of lakefront property in Mandeville. His plans for the property, a 30,000 sq. ft. home, horse stables and a helipad never happened. Today, the Copeland family has given the 29-acre property that is worth $7 million to the LSU Health Foundation.
The LSU Health Foundation, a nonprofit, plans to use the land to house a $150 million LSU-affiliated retirement community. The proceeds earned from the land lease will go to benefit cancer research in honor of Al Copeland Sr. who died from rare cancer. The complex will include an age-restricted apartment complex, restaurants, retail stores and a boutique hotel.
Mandeville residents and leaders support the project and believe that it is something the community needs. The project will bring jobs to the community as well as a place for medical students to learn and have hands-on experience.
“To me, it makes great use of that 20- plus acres that’s been neglected,” City Council member Rick Danielson said.
The first phase of the project will be an apartment complex that sits on the waterfront section along with restaurants, stores and a hotel. The 5-acre parcel that is not waterfront has plans to become an assisted living and memory care center. The center would give LSU Health Sciences Center students an opportunity to work and train in geriatrics.
The age restriction will be set at 55 and older and the number of housing units will follow Mandeville’s zoning requirements. The project is in the first stages of land surveys, test pilings and permitting which will take a little over a year.
“None of this would have happened without the
generosity of Al Copeland Jr., ” Altier said. Al Copeland Sr. died of a rare cancer, and it was LSU Health Sciences Center doctors who developed a treatment for it. “He has a passion to cure cancer,” Altier said of the late