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Perkins Road Overpass Corridor

214 posts in this topic

Posted

Been meaning to start a thread on this unique area of BR since last Summer....there is much potential along the 1.6 mile corridor between City Park & Acadian Thruway...I'll be adding some more here in the near future when it's not as late(on a work night)....this corridor is a good case study...a "before and after" might work well if done right...I have a few older pics I'll be posting

This article is from way back in mid June...the historical overpass itself was repaired but not widened; not so good for pedestrians or cyclist...might a R.R. right-of-way for a path work??

Won’t you take 
me to funkytown?

The Perkins Road overpass corridor already is cool and unique—a traditional neighborhood development before there was a name for it, with flowers and pharmaceuticals, latte and literature, burgers and beer all within easy walking and biking distance of each other.

Or maybe not so easy, as anyone who’s braved the narrow shoulders of the overpass during heavy traffic or strolled the stretch of Perkins Road south of the overpass on a Friday or Saturday night can attest. The corridor—gem that it is—is geared much more toward the automobile.

That could change if a plan to make the corridor more pedestrian-friendly gains legs. It started with a February meeting of community stakeholders at Chelsea’s Café, where ideas for improving the area were tossed around. Among those present were landscape architects from Reich Associates, which volunteered its services.

Brian Goad, the firm’s point man on the project, is studying how to make the 1.6-mile stretch of Perkins Road from Acadian Thruway to City Park better connected through sidewalks or multi-use footpaths, with ideas for landscaping, lighting and benches thrown in...The corridor, however, is bursting with Magazine Street-style potential

http://www.businessreport.com/news/2009/jun/15/wont-you-take-me-funkytown-rlet1/

And another article from 225Magazine from way back in June of 07'compliment of noveau rouge...the magazine itself has some nice renderings of what the corridor could look like with streetscape improvements; unable to locate on internet..from a LSU landscape architect thesis

What if...

The restaurants, bars, shops and other businesses in and around the Perkins Road underpass represent a unique and vibrant neighborhood, the kind of a multi-use development urban planners often dream of creating.

But this neighborhood’s character was not planned or engineered. Rather, it has developed organically, and in spite of being bisected by Interstate 10 and its entry and exit ramps, the railroad and the Perkins Road bridge.

The Perkins Road underpass area for years thrived with markets, a hardware store, a yoga center, a drug store, several hair salons and some dry cleaners. It has a thriving nightlife with several restaurants and bars that are local favorites. It’s the ending point of a Mardi Gras parade and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. More recently it has fostered an emerging art scene with art galleries and the recent addition of a small art festival. The underpass area is a point of destination and has tremendous potential as a cultural center for Baton Rouge. In short, like downtown, it’s one of the few places in the city where you can park your car then walk around for a fulfilling, interesting and diverse experience.

Yet the area remains a hodgepodge. The public space is haphazard, confusing and ill-connected. This, along with the barriers posed by the criss-crossing elevated roads, prevents the neighborhood from reaching its full potential. But with some careful, deliberate interventions, the neighborhood around the underpass could become a thriving cultural and activity center and a place of identity for the city.

Through my research, I identified some remedies to help resolve the connectivity problems and strengthen the area to make it an even more dynamic, satisfying and attractive place for both visitors and residents.

http://www.225batonrouge.com/news/2007/jun/28/what-if/

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Posted

Sad to see the old Perkins Road Hardware store not get rebuilt after the fire..but this new development is nice! Like buckett said...hopefully more mixed-use projects like this will be popping up in the area...not giving up on the Acadian Village project as well as the Perkins-Acadiana Plaza that was partially destroyed by recent fire......this corridor really has the potential to be very nice! I would like to see both of those be built closerto Perkins to have more of a street scene vibe with parking in the back...

Before...

71107007.jpg

After *courtesy of The Advocate...

bizstella012810.jpg

Stella Boutique is planning to open in the former Living Foods building in the next two weeks, and work continues on the adjacent Perkins Road Hardware building next door......Stella Boutique will move from its spot in Towne Center into a 2,000-square-foot shop in the former health food store, with an additional 1,000 square feet that will be leased out to a complementary business, owner Katie Jacob Dallimore said. “We’ve had our eye on that area for a long time,” she said. “There’s something about it … It’s just got that friendly neighborhood feel. It’s got small, neighborhood restaurants and tiny shops and it’s just a good place for people to hang out and spend the day.”

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/business/82860167.html

*older pic with the Perkins Road mixed-use project under construction....

52809010.jpg

Alex Knight, agent with owner Donnie Jarreau Companies, which owns the adjacent development, said the planned tenants for the former Perkins Road Hardware building are making progress.

Rockin Sake of N.O., which plans to take 3,500 square feet of space in the front of the development, and Schlitzz & Giggles, which bought the former hardware store garage for a pizza restaurant, both plan to be open by St. Patrick’s Day. Knight said a 1,350-square-foot bay has been leased by the Denim Library. A 1,200-square-foot one is still available.

The two residential units on the third floor are almost finished, Knight said. Jarreau is asking $369,000 and $329,000 for them, with the higher priced one overlooking Perkins Road. The second floor is remaining undeveloped for now, and could go commercial or residential. Knight said a new name for the development was considered for a while, but they decided it’s so well known as Perkins Road Hardware that it would be pointless to try to rebrand it.

*old pic before the overpass renovation...a few St Patrick's Day parade beads dangle from the lines over-head...

more023.jpg

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Posted (edited)

In a related article...partially burned-down Acadian-Perkins Plaza is due for an extreme make-over.... ties in with the area on the east-side of Acadian Thruway...if the lending market/economy ever rebounds...this along w/ Acadian Village could really change the look...

Rising from the ashes

If the Claitor family gets a blank canvas on which to redraw the Acadian-Perkins Plaza, the result might look like the sort of spruced-up, mixed-use developments that are so in vogue. Such a notion would complement the planned Acadian Village redevelopment across South Acadian Thruway, where architectural renderings show retail stores with arched windows on the first floor and housing with Vieux Carré-style balconies above.

How in sync the neighboring projects wind up has a lot to do with what structural engineers determine is salvageable after a New Year’s Day blaze and subsequent flare-ups destroyed or damaged parts of Acadian-Perkins Plaza.

Dan Claitor, one of four children of Robert Claitor Sr. who are part owners of R.G. Claitor’s Realty, which controls most of the shopping center, says he expects to soon hear from structural engineers and insurance agents whether remnants can be reused or whether it makes financial sense to tear down and rebuild the home of Claitor’s Law Books and Publishing, The Caterie music club and restaurant and other businesses.

“We have to define the canvas,” Dan Claitor says. “I’m open to whatever’s the highest and best use. I’m not limiting myself to any particular palette.”

Plans have been hovering for something to happen at South Acadian Thruway and Perkins Road for a while. Walmart abandoned its Acadian Village site in 2004, and plans put forth by owner Commercial Properties Realty Trust in fall 2008 involved turning the spot into 100,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants such as Acme Oyster House, which already is in operation, plus 53 rental units.

Despite talk that several new buildings could start construction in the first half of 2009, last year came and went without movement on the project.

“We continue to talk with potential tenants, but the recession has made retailers skittish about signing deals,” says Mukul Verma, spokesman for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which is affiliated with Commercial Properties. “The economy turned on us nationally.” Still, he says the Perkins Road overpass area to the west is thriving, and the planned Rouzan development to the east could boost the entire Perkins Road economic profile. “The whole area is extremely promising.”

Things are progressing at least for traffic improvements at the intersection. That nearly $2.5 million project has been awarded to local RCS Contractors Inc., says Michael Songy with CSRS Inc., program director for the city’s Green Light Plan. The work involves creating double left-turn lanes and dedicated right-turn lanes in most directions, plus sidewalks along the shopping centers on the north side of Perkins.

Part of a long-abandoned gas-station property fronting Acadian-Perkins Plaza is involved, and a house at the intersection was moved for the work. Songy says once utility construction is finished, the 90-day work for the Green Light Plan can begin. He hopes to wrap things up at the intersection by midyear.

Claitor says his family is considering various ideas for their damaged shopping center, including integrating the look of the remodeled plaza with the proposed development to the west that could bring a touch of Perkins Palms to the area. “We would want to complement that,” he says. “We’re going to have some integration aesthetically.”

http://www.businessreport.com/news/2010/jan/25/rising-ashes-rtl1/

Edited by richyb83

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Posted

Another related article...a little further east between Acadian Thruway & College Drive...a ripple-effect

The Southdowns Shopping Center underwent a major renovation in 2008 and 2009, which led to upscale new tenants moving into the shopping center. The ripple effect of that work has spread to a smaller strip of stores adjacent to Southdowns. By April, Marcello's Wine Warehouse and Home by Rogers and McDaniel will have opened new businesses there, and Assured Flooring will be wrapping up a facelift of its existing store. "You see all the activity on Perkins Road and the overpass area and you want to be a part of it," says Gary McDaniel, who co-owns Home.

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/real-estate-weekly/latest/

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Posted

the new 3-story mixed-use development at the old Perkins Road Hardware...with some streetscape improvements; including more sidewalks; park benches; small trees; street-lamps; grooved pavement; etc..this could be one hip strip

feb10007.jpg

feb10005.jpg

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Posted

B.R. gears up for St. Patty's Day parade

The 25th annual St. Patrick's Day parade will take place Saturday, March 13, at 10 a.m. with 75 floats departing from the corner of S. Acadian and Hundred Oaks, and continuing on to South Eugene, Terrace and the Perkins Road and overpass to Acadian Village. Parade-goers will be treated to 13 marching bands, three pipe bands and the U.S. Marine Corps Band from New Orleans.

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Posted

This thread needs all the help it can get :thumbsup: ...

Premium denim store coming to Perkins Road

The Denim Library, a store that will sell premium jeans and apparel for men and women, plans to open at the site of the old Perkins Road Hardware by mid-May. Kim Litel, who owns the boutique, says she got the idea for the Denim Library from some of the stores where she shopped in Dallas and Austin, Texas. Litel, a native of Baton Rouge, moved back to the Capital Region two years ago, after working in medical sales in Texas. “There’s a niche for this,” she says. Denim Library will carry such brands as Serfontaine, Dylan George, David Kahn and Taverniti. The boutique will be open next to Rock-N-Sake; Litel says she may stay open until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays to bring in some of the restaurant crowd. “We want it to be laid back so people feel comfortable going in here,”

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/2010/mar/22/1530/

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Posted

This thread needs all the help it can get :thumbsup: ...

Premium denim store coming to Perkins Road

The Denim Library, a store that will sell premium jeans and apparel for men and women, plans to open at the site of the old Perkins Road Hardware by mid-May. Kim Litel, who owns the boutique, says she got the idea for the Denim Library from some of the stores where she shopped in Dallas and Austin, Texas. Litel, a native of Baton Rouge, moved back to the Capital Region two years ago, after working in medical sales in Texas. “There’s a niche for this,” she says. Denim Library will carry such brands as Serfontaine, Dylan George, David Kahn and Taverniti. The boutique will be open next to Rock-N-Sake; Litel says she may stay open until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays to bring in some of the restaurant crowd. “We want it to be laid back so people feel comfortable going in here,”

http://www.businessr...10/mar/22/1530/

The firm I work for is doing the build out for this project. I personally drew it up in autoCAD, haha. In my typical, debbie downer fashion, im disappointed with the design. They have chosen to go for a faux old library look(which does not match the exterior of the building at all.) I would have rathered them go with a more trendy design similar to the new Stella Boutique next door. dontknow.gif

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Posted

^ Well, it's good to have variety. :}

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Posted

That's cool buckett..would like to see your version :shades:

Debbie downer or not...I value your opinion & feedback...sometimes the truth hurts...

Like the new Northgate development...it is a bit of a disapointment...I remember seeing some plans for a multi-story(4 or 5)mixed-use development that obviously fell thru..not sure if that was to go at the old McDonald's on State Street or not...but it looked really nice...

Both these areas have so much potential!

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Posted (edited)

Had to hijack this from the BR Restaurant thread... :thumbsup:

Rock-n-Sake opens on Perkins

Walking in, you might think you've taken a wrong turn and ended up in New York through some accident of geography. The decor is slick and modern, from the walls hang funky pop art, and colorful schools of neon-lit glass jellyfish dangle from the ceiling. This is Rock-n-Sake, the latest restaurant to open in the fast-growing Perkins Road overpass area. The restaurant’s original location in New Orleans has already made a name for itself as a hip sushi spot, and owners Tisbee and Dirk Danton and Duke Nelson had been looking for an opportunity to expand to Baton Rouge for some time. "We were really just waiting on a good locale," says Tisbee Danton. Behind the mostly glassed-in façade is an airy, industrial space, much roomier than it looks from the outside, with a spacious bar and mezzanine dining area for private parties. Dirk Danton also serves as the executive chef, and his sushi is much more than standard fare. Along with offering classics like dragon rolls and Philadelphia rolls, Rock-n-Sake serves up specialties like the LSU roll (tempura shrimp, snow crab, tuna, avocado and cream cheese drizzled with eel sauce) and the Hawaii 5-0 roll (coconut-tempura shrimp and cream cheese with mango and avocado).

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/latest/

Edited by richyb83

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Posted

Bet-R Store to expand, renovate

Bet-R is expanding and updating its grocery store by the Perkins Road overpass. The 9,000-square-foot neighborhood store will add 3,700 square feet. Co-owner Cliff Boulden says the store will add aisles, more space for beer and wine, a new dairy case and an area in the deli to showcase cooked foods. The inside and the outside of the building will be renovated and modernized. Construction is expected to begin in June will occur during the store's off hours. Boulden hopes for a grand unveiling by September. "We'll still be small and neighborhood-like; we'll just have more room to move around in," he says. "Being neighborly is something we take pride in."

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/2010/may/05/1609/

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Posted

"Williamson Eyewear rounds out Perkins development

A high-end optical shop will be the final retailer to join the mixed-use development at the old Perkins Road Hardware site. Williamson Eyewear is expected to open in early fall. Williamson offers eyewear, check-ups and/or cosmetic surgery in four Capital Region locations. The deal on Perkins was brokered by Alex Knight with Donnie Jarreau Real Estate. Williamson joins Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches, Schlittz & Giggles, Rock-n-Sake and the Denim Library in the old Perkins Road Hardware site."

Schlittz & Giggles must have been doing really well to be expanding, and then in such "close" vicinity to the other location.

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Posted

Thanks for posting Dan! :thumbsup: This unique corridor truly has the potential to be something special!

BTW has anybody ever tried the pizza from Schlittz & Giggles?? Was it any good?

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Posted

Looks like this unique corridor now has a Name...

The Platinum Mile

In the past few years, more than a dozen new businesses, many of them modern and high-end, have popped up in what used to be an old-school area of Perkins Road, from the overpass east to College Drive, and brought with them a new wave of clientele. That one-mile stretch used to be fairly unassuming, somewhat utilitarian and dotted with no-frills retail. Southdowns owners, like Angela Angelloz, recall the main attractions were a dimly lit Walmart and a Books-A-Million, both of which have been razed.

Perkins Road now boasts an art gallery, boutiques, a wine bar, a designer jeans company, numerous popular bars and restaurants and several other businesses. The parking lots usually are full, and restaurant wait times can exceed 30 minutes. Nearby homeowners liken the revitalized area to living near Magazine Street in uptown New Orleans. But the new-found sophistication and convenience of the area doesn’t fill the void left by Perkins Road Hardware, a family-owned neighborhood business established in the 1950s that had become an institution. The building was destroyed by an electrical fire in 2006.

Several projects are in the works for the area, which will result in even more business. The Acadian-Perkins Plaza suffered a massive New Year’s Day fire that destroyed several businesses, including The Caterie, and forced the closure or relocation of others. Earlier this month, The Caterie and Southdowns Liquor are close to signing a lease to take over the former CVS Pharmacy. Bob Claitor, co-owner of the center, says the bids to remodel the pharmacy are in, and plans have been drawn up to overhaul the property.

Across Acadian Thruway, plans put forth by Commercial Properties Realty Trust in 2008 involved turning the former Acadian Village site into 100,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants, such as Acme Oyster House, which already is in operation, plus more than 50 rental units. Commercial Properties has continued to discuss the location with potential tenants but is waiting for the economy to improve before moving forward.

As if to accommodate the growth, construction continues on traffic improvements at Perkins and Acadian, part of the city’s Green Light Plan. The project includes double left-turn lanes and dedicated right-turn lanes in most directions, plus sidewalks in front of the shopping centers on the north side of Perkins.

“There has very much been a slowdown in new construction for retail,” says Wesley Moore, an appraiser with Cook, Moore & Associates. “That area is definitely bucking the trend in that regard.” Perkins Road, she says, has become the best place for businesses and homeowners in Baton Rouge.

“We call Corporate Boulevard the ‘Golden Mile,’” she says. “Now [Perkins Road] is becoming the ‘Platinum Mile.’”

http://www.businessreport.com/news/2010/jul/26/platinum-mile-rlet1/

newsperkinsroadhardware.jpg

The former Perkins Road Hardware site now contains Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Rock-n-Sake, Schlittz & Giggles, Denim Library and two condominiums that are on the market for $329,000 each. An unfinished second floor could be used for additional residential or retail space.

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Posted

Hmmm, I just posted on the Green Light plan, but it looks like this one is more relevant. It's good to know how much the activity has expanded along Perkins in the past six months or so (quite a bit right before I moved here). What are people's thoughts with the design of the intersection and the brick sidewalks? I'm kind of surprised by some of the design elements they included, particularly in the sidewalks--which seems to use a design scheme that would have been much more popular years ago.

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Posted

Hmmm, I just posted on the Green Light plan, but it looks like this one is more relevant. It's good to know how much the activity has expanded along Perkins in the past six months or so (quite a bit right before I moved here). What are people's thoughts with the design of the intersection and the brick sidewalks? I'm kind of surprised by some of the design elements they included, particularly in the sidewalks--which seems to use a design scheme that would have been much more popular years ago.

This is Baton Rouge and our design aspirations are always ten years behind the rest of the country. As for the functionality of the sidewalks, its a huge FAIL. I am not sure who approved these plans because they dont look ADA accessible and the side walks themselves are the bare minimum in width. Not to mention, because the retail sits on the back of their sites, these sidewalks will only be used by the occasional jogger. Also, they have widened that intersection so much, that crossing it as a pedestrian is now going to be extremely treacherous. Baton Rouge and our engineers have once again dropped the ball.

American Dirt, I wish you would share your opinion more often thumbsup.gif

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Posted (edited)

This is part of the reason I started this topic...nice discussion here & in Green Light Plan thread! Will have to check the intersection out; sounds about right; things not making any sense. Your right buckett..things usually are about 10 years behind. Most of BR is not very pedestrian friendly. Some of these roads like Perkins are too wide. Wish the revamped shopping center would be placed closer(and long proposed Acadian Village) to the street.

That's why a little further west on Perkins Rd were it turns to "two-lanes" nearing the overpass really has the potential to be something special! Only wish I could find the renderings of the proposed changes from way back in 225 Magazine from the LSU's school of ??

Edited by richyb83

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Posted (edited)

This is Baton Rouge and our design aspirations are always ten years behind the rest of the country. As for the functionality of the sidewalks, its a huge FAIL. I am not sure who approved these plans because they dont look ADA accessible and the side walks themselves are the bare minimum in width. Not to mention, because the retail sits on the back of their sites, these sidewalks will only be used by the occasional jogger. Also, they have widened that intersection so much, that crossing it as a pedestrian is now going to be extremely treacherous. Baton Rouge and our engineers have once again dropped the ball.

American Dirt, I wish you would share your opinion more often thumbsup.gif

Seems like they could have done better with this. Creating a median at some of the intersections would have broken up the treacherous crossing.

And why are the pavers in the median? I know it looks nice, but since no one will ever walk there, why not put a few oak trees like they did on corporate?

There are no clear sidewalks in the Perkins Road Overpass area, yet this is the most walkable neighborhood in BR outside of downtown and LSU?

Oh well, it's still a massive improvement over what used to be there. Next time they do this to a neighborhood, they will have that much more experience.

Edited by cajun

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Posted

And why are the pavers in the median? I know it looks nice, but since no one will ever walk there, why not put a few oak trees like they did on corporate?

I noticed this too, though only after I had already written the blog. I can only think that the reason they didn't plant oak trees there is because their shallow, broad root systems will soon be too big to fit in a median that narrow. But that shouldn't stop them from using some smaller street trees.

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Nice blog American Dirt...thanks for the imput :thumbsup:

Another infil development on the east end of the "Platinum Mile"...though this is a 4-acre (25 townhomes)single-entranced gated development. This was orginally slated to be high dollar; went down on price; but still not cheap! Amazing to me they still pull this off with the sluggish economy.

Forgot what the original name was..this is dubbed Perkins Lane

bizcommunity081310.jpg

Gated town-house community planned for Perkins

Work crews will break ground in the next two months on Perkins Lane, a gated community of town houses on the south side of Perkins Road west of Lee Drive, across from Southdowns fire station. Dantin said the homes will have two-car garages and outdoor grills and will be alley-fed. The development includes a swimming pool. He said that when fully developed, the site will be about 35 percent green space.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/100597544.html

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FINALLY! :shades: This area will be tranformed before we know it! Only problem is; it doesn't actually include the "Overpass"...

Project to add sidewalks and other amenities to make the Perkins Road Overpass area more pedestrian-friendly.

The Perkins Road Overpass area is about to get a lot more pedestrian-friendly.

The city-parish is soliciting bids for a project to add sidewalks, crosswalks, curbs and handicap accessibility to Perkins Road between Broussard Avenue and the Interstate 10 entrance ramp. The work will not include the overpass itself, which was overhauled last year.

The Department of Public Works has allocated just under $650,000 for the project, which is part of an $18.4 million supplemental budget passed in June. Lena Peltier, of engineering firm CSRS, said the project will be open for bid until Sept. 28 and construction could begin by the end of the year and take about four months. The project sprang from conversations former Chief Administrative Officer Mike Futrell had with local neighborhood groups about how the Perkins Road Overpass area could be made more walkable, Public Works Director Peter Newkirk said....the work would also include landscaping, concrete pavers, striping and drainage work.

Owner of Cottonwood Books, said he’d been hearing talk about possible improvements for ages and welcomed the news. “That’d be wonderful,” he said. “We want to be more of an easily accessible, walk-from-place-to-place type of area and what we have now is not conducive to that.”.... he often watches his customers head across the street for a bite after shopping at his store. “They take their lives in their own hands by crossing the road,” he said.

The Perkins Road Overpass area, which is thick with local shops, restaurants and bars, is the type of neighborhood often cited by urban planners as ideal. It has a grocery store, a pharmacy and shops, restaurants and bars that serve an economically and racially diverse mix of neighborhoods. The neighborhood suffered a blow when Perkins Road Hardware burned down several years ago, though it has been replaced by a development that includes restaurants, boutiques and loft apartments

A hardware store recently opened just down Perkins past Acadian Thruway at Acadian-Perkins Plaza. “We have a lot of destination-type businesses where, if it was more accessible, people would do more shopping,” Plaisance said.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/102408144.html

*Interesting comments to go along with the article...

Here's and old pic pre-Perkins Road Hardware days...they can re-do this corridor right! I was impressed what they implemented in renderings from LSU a while back...like night & day.

71107005.jpg

If this; Acadian Plaza be re-done the right way..& Acadian Village ever fully get off the ground...this truly can become the so-called "Platinum Mile"

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Posted

Neat! Maybe they read this message board.

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My question is, will this be a true, well designed street scape or simply some small side walk added between the shoulder and the ditch? Baton Rouge engineers don't normally "design" things very well, the new Acadian Perkins intersection is a prime example..... I hope I am proven wrong. ermm.gif

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My question is, will this be a true, well designed street scape or simply some small side walk added between the shoulder and the ditch? Baton Rouge engineers don't normally "design" things very well, the new Acadian Perkins intersection is a prime example..... I hope I am proven wrong. ermm.gif

They are adding in subsurface drainage.

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