Sign in to follow this  
dan326

Northern EBR Parish Development

Recommended Posts

Can a new body shop on Scenic Highway become a model for transforming North Baton Rouge’s economy?

 
 
Jason-Hughes_0.jpg?q=70&fit=clip&w=808

(Photography by Brian Baiamonte: Capital City Collision owner Jason Hughes)

The smell of fresh paint fills the air where a dozen empty translucent chairs line the walls of the lobby in anticipation of the customers that will soon fill them. All is quiet until the energetic business owner peeks his head through the doorframe of his back office, his smile wide, beaming with pride.

He’ll be there, he promises, “in one second.”

Jason Hughes disappears around the corner to finish explaining the work he needs done to a ceiling in the next room. The details matter with his grand opening, which, at the time of the interview, was just two weeks away.

Jason Hughes Business (Photo by Brian Baiamonte) Capital City Collision Center

The bright, royal blue exterior of Capital City Collision on Scenic Highway stands like a mirage in a neighborhood of boarded-up windows, tattered signage and fading logos once painted vibrantly on businesses opened years and even decades earlier.

Today, many of them stand abandoned. One year ago, Hughes’ warehouse was one of them.

He takes a seat behind a brand new desk, free from clutter and still with its showroom shine. It is for the most part bare, aside from a single picture frame, a gray stapler, and a sleek desktop computer.

It remains uncluttered—but not because Hughes is still building his customer base, as one might think. In fact, business has been so good there’s been no time to clutter up his office with paperwork.

Sitting in the center of his dream that almost never was, he can see ahead into the lobby through the lightly tinted glass lining one wall of his office and through another window into the parking lot, where he watches patrons come and go.

“I probably could have gone anywhere in Baton Rouge to start my business,” Hughes says. “I thought it would be a unique idea to open up my business here since I’m from up here.”

Capital City Collision is located in the epicenter of an area in Baton Rouge plagued by persistent vacancies, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors Commercial Investment Division’s annual TRENDS report on industrial properties for 2015.

Mathew Laborde of Beau Box Commercial Real Estate specializes in industrial properties. He says the larger warehouses in this area are often considered functionally obsolete.

“The buildings are old,” the agent says, “and typically need a ton of work to get ready for occupancy.”
The prolonged vacancy and location become a systemic barrier to entry, often stifling the possibility for economic development.

But for Hughes, the potential he saw in the location motivated him as he navigated through the inherent obstacles that often cause business development to stagnate in north Baton Rouge.

“When you enter an area that you know and you can put that effort and that investment into it, it is just better for you in the end because now you are part of the community,” Hughes explains. “You are revitalizing something you know.”

THE CHALLENGE OF FINANCING

From January to May, Hughes struggled to secure the financing to purchase the foreclosed property.

“The biggest challenge I had to work through was convincing the bank that I could do what I said I was going to do,” Hughes says.

Before setting out to start Capital City Collision, Hughes worked as an independent appraiser for auto insurance companies and opened his own consulting business, which allowed him to work in body shops all over the area. He eventually assumed a management position at a body shop and worked there for about three years. During that time, he began to envision owning his own business.

But when he set out to make that vision a reality, Hughes found financial institutions reluctant to take a chance on him—and on the area—despite his strong business and financial history.

The bank he’d been with for five years turned him down, as did a secondary mortgage company.

“You want to cry some nights because you know in your heart, ‘Man, I know this can work,’” he says. “I know what I’m capable of. I did it in the hood down the street, and I convinced people to come in here. I’ve been generating $60,000 to $70,000 a month consistently.”

Hughes then went to State Bank and Trust Co., which owned the property. He showed them his financial portfolio and laid out his business plan.

“They believed in it,” Hughes says. After much negotiation, he secured the building for $125,000 from the bank and received another loan from Capital One to invest in operating equipment for his new business. To date, he’s spent $170,000 purchasing and renovating the space. His grand opening was Nov. 15.

Jason Hughes (Photo by Brian Baiamonte) Jason Hughes plans to use technology, workforce incentives and community partnerships to set his shop apart from the competition.

21ST CENTURY BODY SHOP

Throughout the remodeling process, Hughes put his prior experience in body shops to good use. He developed an innovative business model that seeks to position Capital City Collision as a leader in the Baton Rouge market, while ensuring the company’s viability by proactively addressing the intrinsic challenges of the auto repair industry.

His strategy focuses on efficiency and professionalism, which is reflected in both the layout and operation of the 18,000-square-foot warehouse.

“The lobby area: professional,” Hughes points out. “We have policies in place that allow customers to do things or not do things.” Instead of allowing customers to wander into the back of the shop, as is the case in many body shops, they are greeted at a formal reception desk. There is no smoking in front of the shop. Hughes has also committed not to hire family members or people with whom he’s had previous relationships. That way, he can focus strictly on qualified candidates willing to support his vision.

“I’ve also taken technology by storm,” Hughes says. “I would go as far as to say 85% to 90% of body shops are not using the technology I will be using in our shop.”

Hughes business model is based on a simple reality: Time is money.

“If you are not working efficiently, you are losing money,” he explains. “You have to keep those tools in place in order to be efficient and that applies to everything from the front office all the way to the garbage can in the back.”

To achieve that, Hughes plans to use shrewd management techniques. He understands that in the auto industry turnover his high and mechanics follow the work, often jumping to the shop with the most business. Given the transient workforce, he’s also realistic about making a change when necessary, explaining that he envisions his employees working with him instead of for him.

He plans to use incentives like signing bonuses, sophisticated referral programs and community partnerships to foster a strong sense of teamwork and set his shop apart as the only full-service collision center in north Baton Rouge.

As a graduate of Southern University and Scotlandville Magnet High School, Hughes hopes to offer apprenticeships to students of area high schools with the goal of giving them hands-on experience and exposing them to entrepreneurship in an area where they are from.

“There is a drought in this area for economic opportunity,” Hughes says. “When you see the area around LSU, you see apartments and food places popping up everywhere. When I get off the interstate to go to Southern, it is like going back in time to 2001.”

However, he hopes the strategic placement of Capital City Collision, close to the corner of Scenic Highway and Choctaw Drive, just five minutes from downtown and near the interstate and Southern, will attract new traffic to north Baton Rouge.

And he’s not the only one.

A ‘BOLD STEP’

Joe Delpit, the owner of Chicken Shack and the son of the late Thomas Delpit, who established the business in the front of his family’s shotgun home on East Boulevard in 1935, opened the restaurant’s third location in a renovated Popeyes in north Baton Rouge a year ago.

He is still adjusting to the pace of commerce in the area.

While Delpit says that business is better than he anticipated, he also acknowledges a lack of steady traffic bringing customers to the location.

He attributes this mainly to a lack of other development in the area. “We went in because we knew there weren’t any fast food outlets specializing in fried chicken,” Delpit says. “They had all closed.”

He remembers that at one time the area was very busy, full of retail stores, sporting good shops and even supermarkets and pharmacies. “We don’t have that anymore over there,” he says. “But the people are still there. Southern University is still there.”

He believes part of the solution is to develop the type of fundamental infrastructure that communities need in order to prosper; what many in Baton Rouge would overlook as basic conveniences like health care services, a grocery store and maybe even a coffee shop or two.

Raymond Jetson (File photo) Metromorphosis President and CEO Raymond Jetson

Raymond Jetson, president and CEO of MetroMorphosis, a nonprofit created with the goal of transforming inner-city neighborhoods, agrees that more sophisticated approaches to business are “few and far between” in north Baton Rouge.

“It think it takes pioneers like this gentleman [Hughes] who would take that bold step but also establish a business proposition that is supportable; that there is a viable, long term-service that can generate income and hire others, hopefully, from inner city neighborhoods and create a recycling of dollars in the inner city,” says Jetson, who is pastor of Star Hill Church.

“That is a critical component to changing the dynamic of some of our lower income neighborhoods.”

Community leaders like Jetson and Senate President Pro-Tem Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, hope that Capital City Collision will be a catalyst for economic development in the community.

Term-limited, Broome is running for East Baton Rouge Parish mayor-president in 2016 and says she is “deeply concerned” about the future of north Baton Rouge and committed to making sure it thrives and prospers like other areas of the city.

“I refuse to give up on north Baton Rouge,” she says. “In fact, part of my goal is to actively recruit economic development initiatives to the area.”

Broome stresses it is incumbent on leaders from all segments of the community to encourage entrepreneurs operating in every part of the city.

She stresses the importance of including African-American owned businesses in that support.

Says Broome: “We have to understand as a community that communities rise and fall together.”       https://www.businessreport.com/business/can-new-body-shop-scenic-highway-become-model-transforming-north-baton-rouges-economy

Edited by greg225

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Metro Council to take up mayor’s salary again, introduce north Baton Rouge economic zone   

After months of deferring the item and studying the issue, the Metro Council will once again discuss—and possibly vote on—setting the salary for the incoming mayor on Wednesday, its last regularly scheduled meeting of the year.

District 9 Councilman Joel Boé is recommending the salary be set at $225,000 annually over the duration of the next mayor’s term. He also wants to eliminate reimbursements for any unused vacation or sick time. Those recommendations followed weeks of research on what peer cities across the south pay their mayor and county executive in some cases.

Mayor Kip Holden, who is term-limited, is set to earn $152,317 this year. That’s up from $146,590.03 earned in 2014, which was a 7.1% increase over his 2013 salary. Voters will go to the polls on Nov. 8 next year to elect a new mayor.

Including himself, Boé says about three to four council members are on board with setting the salary at $225,000, while about three to four want to keep the salary where it is now, and the rest wanted to conduct their own calculations to come up with their own number.

“I don’t want it to turn into an auction at the meeting,” Boé says, adding, “There is by no means a consensus on my number or anyone else’s number.”

Council Administrator Casey Cashio, meanwhile, is recommending the council set the next mayor’s salary at $157,000 annually, based on research by Council Budget Officer Joe Toups.

If the council, for some reason, does not set the salary on Wednesday and does not call a special meeting before the end of the year to set the pay, then the incoming mayor in 2017 will start on step one of the 12-step pay plan, Cashio says. That means the incoming mayor would be paid around $106,000 in the first year.

Per the city-parish Plan of Government, the Metro Council must set the salary for the incoming mayor every four years, and one year before he or she takes office. Boé says he is confident the council members will walk out of the chamber Wednesday night having settled on a number.

Also at the meeting, the council will introduce an item by District 12 Councilman John Delgado that would create an Economic Opportunity Zone in north Baton Rouge, allowing developers to defer property tax increases on property improvements for 10 years.

Delgado says he feels property tax abatements and other incentives are the best way to lure businesses to develop or relocate to north Baton Rouge. He called the abatements another “arrow in the quiver” for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber to use to lure businesses to north Baton Rouge. The public hearing and vote on that item are set for Jan. 13.

Read a recent Business Report story on the challenges of economic development in north Baton Rouge.

Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, the council will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday in a special meeting to consider adopting Mayor Kip Holden’s proposed $880 million 2016 budget. The council needs seven votes to adopt the budget, but eight votes to make any changes. Cashio says no one has told him they would be absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

Boé says budget discussions have been quiet so far and he has not heard of any possible major changes to what Holden proposed.

“I plan to basically vote to approve it as is and move on,” he says.

The council meeting begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday on the third floor of City Hall, 222 St. Louis St. See the full agenda.    https://www.businessreport.com/article/metro-council-take-mayors-salary-introduce-north-baton-rouge-economic-zone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metro Council members want John Delgado to butt out of north Baton Rouge economic development plan

The argument over how to improve economic development in depressed areas of north Baton Rouge is intensifying, with East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council members representing the poorest parts of the parish banding together to ask Councilman John Delgado to butt out.

 

On Wednesday, Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel tried to block Delgado’s recent proposal to create an economic development district in north Baton Rouge, asking that it be deleted from the agenda so it would never be discussed or voted on by the council.

Her attempt to block what ordinarily would be the routine business of introducing an item on the agenda failed. But she had the support of the other four black councilwomen who represent parts of north Baton Rouge, which includes Scotlandville and other depressed parts of the parish.

The rest of the council, all white Republicans representing south Baton Rouge or the northern rural suburban areas, voted to preserve the item, which won’t come to a council vote until next month. Delgado’s south Baton Rouge district is among the parish’s most prosperous.

In recent weeks, Banks-Daniel has been critical of the proposal Delgado has floated to spur economic activity in her district. She described his interest in north Baton Rouge as a veiled attempt to curry favor with black voters in his likely run for mayor-president in 2016. In an email to The Advocate, she referred to him as the “great white hope.”

After the action on Wednesday, Delgado said he was blown away by his colleagues, adding that their constituents should be angry their elected representatives would choose politics over progress.

“The fact is that while they have sat there for years and years and years, politicians in north Baton Rouge have done very little to help the residents they claim to represent,” Delgado said, adding that the attempt to delete his item was “stupid and childish.”

“It’s offensive to me, and it should be outrageous to the people who live there. I’m trying to help the people, while Chauna Banks-Daniel is putting politics over the needs of her constituents,” he said. “Honestly, this is why nothing has been done to help north Baton Rouge ever.”

Banks-Daniel said this week she didn’t want Delgado’s agenda item to conflict with work that’s already underway being led by state Sen.-elect Regina Barrow, who has passed legislation to create an economic development districtthat would pull together leaders to try to bring projects to the area.

Delgado’s proposal, in contrast, would have made developers in the district eligible for property tax breaks.

Banks-Daniel said she believes Barrow already is planning to expand her district’s proposed boundaries and will include funding mechanisms and incentives with upcoming legislation.

Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis said she also voted to delete Delgado’s proposal because she thinks he should work with Barrow and others who have been working on a plan for the area.

“There’s a district that’s been established by Rep. Barrow, so if he wants to work in conjunction with them, then that’s what he needs to do,” Collins-Lewis said.

She also called his motives into question, saying that when Delgado first took office, he voted against an important measure benefiting north Baton Rouge residents in Scotlandville. The measure involved spending millions of dollars to relocate residents living adjacent to the smelly, unsightly North Baton Rouge Treatment Plant.

“It’s funny to me now that John Delgado wants to create a district to help people in north Baton Rouge when he voted against the buyout for the people near the sewer plant,” she said.

Banks-Daniel, in an email, said she’s been fielding many calls from residents and developers in north Baton Rouge recently who have expressed confusion about Delgado’s desire to lead on the economic development issue when community leaders are working toward that end.

She took a shot at Delgado’s own district, saying she’s received communications from his constituents who “would like me to come help them resolve their issues, because there apparently is a myriad of concerns that they are not pleased about.”

Councilwoman Tara Wicker said she’s not concerned about who gets credit for helping north Baton Rouge but agreed that Delgado’s attempts to create an economic development district may duplicate what Barrow has started. She said she didn’t want constituents to be confused about the process and wanted to ensure the stakeholders involved were at the table.

“I don’t want to prevent any economic development from happening, but I don’t want residents to get confused,” Wicker said. “We slowed it down to make sure there’s an education plan in place. We want that process to be respected and honored.”

Councilwomen C. Denise Marcelle and Ronnie Edwards also voted to delete Delgado’s proposal.

These people from NBR is why nothing ever gets done, they keep the politics of division alive and well. Delgado is trying to help the city grow and they're blocking it because it does not agree with their politics. I wish Kip could be Mayor-President for life because I have a feeling things are gonna get nasty with him gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say it shouldn't matter whoever want to help NBR whether they from NBR, or elsewhere or what race they are the area needs help.  With the Airport, Zoo, Louisiana Technical College and Southern University with parish and state owned property as a tax payer he have the right to come up with ideas. If people in NBR think they only can fix the problems in their area without outside help they are crazy.

Edited by greg225
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, greg225 said:

I say it shouldn't matter whoever want to help NBR whether they from NBR, or elsewhere or what race they are the area needs help.  With the Airport, Zoo, Louisiana Technical College and Southern University with parish and state owned property as a tax payer he have the right to come up with ideas. If people in NBR think they only can fix the problems in their area without outside help they are crazy.

They've been like this for years, look how much change they've done. NBR is as much our city as SBR is. We're all Baton Rouge. 

I say Delgado and the other Republicans should just be like, "Fine, you don't want our help? Well then we're building a bigger and better Airport in the South and a new zoo." if NBR continues to act like this. Jesus Christ knows they would be more successful in the South. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope they have a plan while they sitting there trying to be proud and turning down suggestions.

Edited by dan326
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Delgado's purpose in NBR is money, not helping anyone. Same with every other developer. I can understand their concerns with possible gentrification issues. 

If it was his goal to help, why vote against the buyout?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Antrell Williams said:

Delgado's purpose in NBR is money, not helping anyone. Same with every other developer. I can understand their concerns with possible gentrification issues. 

If it was his goal to help, why vote against the buyout?

Well capitalism is defined before Christian and way before humanitarianism.

I doubt shiny new condos will convince the gentrifying demographic to move to North BR.

Edited by dan326
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, dan326 said:

Well capitalism is defined before Christian and way before humanitarianism.

I doubt shiny new condos will convince the gentrifying demographic to move to North BR.

An economic development district centered around Southern University, BTR, and Howell Blvd could attract jobs and new residential units. It's not a high crime area and it's close to Zachary and I-110. I could see a couple over priced apartment buildings straddling Scotlandville Park and retail, along with more businesses on Veterans and Plank Rd. 

I think their concerns are warranted, seeing as gentrification in mostly black, poor neighborhoods around the country tends to displace current residents for a completely opposite demographic with a new cliche' neighborhood name such as EaDo in Houston. The same things are happening in St. Roch and Mid-City in New Orleans, driving the cost of living much higher than what the people there can afford. 

I'd love to see the investment but maybe they are on to something, maybe they can get this done with a sort of (property tax) protection in place.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Antrell Williams said:

An economic development district centered around Southern University, BTR, and Howell Blvd could attract jobs and new residential units. It's not a high crime area and it's close to Zachary and I-110. I could see a couple over priced apartment buildings straddling Scotlandville Park and retail, along with more businesses on Veterans and Plank Rd.

This is exactly what Delgado was trying to do...so how is that a bad thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem isn't Delgado....I've had a word to word argument with Gary Chambers (Owner of The Rouge Collection ) and Ms. Banks ...district rep in North Baton Rouge Scotlandville. 

Daniel Banguel Who always runs for some type of office. He works as a Store manager for Rent A Wheel and came out to Houston to train at my store....He did not know I was from Baton Rouge (Scotlandville) he was telling me and the other managers how he triples  the rent a wheel salary running for office accepting donations and endorsements...He called it Quiet Money and showed pictures of his house and things he has purchased. 

So when The Rouge Collection posted the articles about North Baton Rouge and the Mayor....I Called them out because I'm very in tune with NBR and I never see them in our neighborhoods until election time.

Gary-Rouge collection  makes blacks in NBR seem racist....we are not!!!! If u tell him no to something he wants..he uses his media outlets  to write a bad story about you

MS.Banks-Scotlandville rep....shady thief.....why should I have to call you and ask you to cut the grass the morning of my wedding at the NBR Community Center...that should stay up kept..She does nothing for Scotlandville. ...Look at it!

Daniel- The Donation king...enough said

Don't let these people fool yall......I've asked if they are not going to do anything for NBR to leave our Neighborhoods and stop speaking for US.....It's not just blacks up here ..All business is welcome.....White , black , Purple or Green.

It's not just me speaking about this...it's others calling them out also 

I don't post on here much anymore but I thought yall should know that they are trying to use the NBR development district for personal gain ...that's why they are against other people helping out.

 

 

 

Screenshot_2015-11-19-04-22-43.png

Screenshot_2015-11-19-08-01-26-01.jpeg

Edited by yis2003yis
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Been a long time...Nice to hear from you again yis2003yis!!  Thanks for sharing that...doesn't surprise me one bit...that's how these shady politrixters roll!   Never let a good crisis go to waste...

That's a bad looking pic above...it's truly a shame to see the neglect...

The 2nd Comment (above) from teresa...wonder what that's about with Alive?

Edited by richyb83
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/13/2015 at 4:04 PM, mr. bernham said:
On 12/13/2015 at 3:39 PM, Antrell Williams said:

 

I think their concerns are warranted, seeing as gentrification in mostly black, poor neighborhoods around the country tends to displace current residents for a completely opposite demographic with a new cliche' neighborhood name such as EaDo in Houston. The same things are happening in St. Roch and Mid-City in New Orleans, driving the cost of living much higher than what the people there can afford. 

I'd love to see the investment but maybe they are on to something, maybe they can get this done with a sort of (property tax) protection in place.

 

This is exactly what Delgado was trying to do...so how is that a bad thing?

^

 

14 hours ago, yis2003yis said:

The problem isn't Delgado....I've had a word to word argument with Gary Chambers (Owner of The Rouge Collection ) and Ms. Banks ...district rep in North Baton Rouge Scotlandville. 

Daniel Banguel Who always runs for some type of office. He works as a Store manager for Rent A Wheel and came out to Houston to train at my store....He did not know I was from Baton Rouge (Scotlandville) he was telling me and the other managers how he triples  the rent a wheel salary running for office accepting donations and endorsements...He called it Quiet Money and showed pictures of his house and things he has purchased. 

So when The Rouge Collection posted the articles about North Baton Rouge and the Mayor....I Called them out because I'm very in tune with NBR and I never see them in our neighborhoods until election time.

Gary-Rouge collection  makes blacks in NBR seem racist....we are not!!!! If u tell him no to something he wants..he uses his media outlets  to write a bad story about you

MS.Banks-Scotlandville rep....shady thief.....why should I have to call you and ask you to cut the grass the morning of my wedding at the NBR Community Center...that should stay up kept..She does nothing for Scotlandville. ...Look at it!

Daniel- The Donation king...enough said

Don't let these people fool yall......I've asked if they are not going to do anything for NBR to leave our Neighborhoods and stop speaking for US.....It's not just blacks up here ..All business is welcome.....White , black , Purple or Green.

It's not just me speaking about this...it's others calling them out also 

I don't post on here much anymore but I thought yall should know that they are trying to use the NBR development district for personal gain ...that's why they are against other people helping out.

Didn't Gary Chambers post an article about the mayor, calling him out on the same things you confronted Ms. Banks about? 

Just how much power does a councilman hold in a poor, minority district? Especially considering our budget concerns the last few years and trying to compete for money against the wealthier, strategically gerry-mandered districts of south BR. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was explaining to Gary and Ms banks that they can't blame the Mayor for all problems in NBR.....KIP can't make a miracle happen over night....they said no to Alive downtown so what do you think they would say to it If he stated he wanted to put it in NBR with its current state....People have to want to invest .....And we as the community have to do our part and clean up and make investors feel welcome for them to invest....we can't just point fingers at the wrong people.....she was just stating I'm correct and that he still has a plan for ALIVE

 

Thanks for the welcome back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Antrell Williams said:

^

 

Didn't Gary Chambers post an article about the mayor, calling him out on the same things you confronted Ms. Banks about? 

Just how much power does a councilman hold in a poor, minority district? Especially considering our budget concerns the last few years and trying to compete for money against the wealthier, strategically gerry-mandered districts of south BR. 

Gary 's motive behind that was because the Mayor declined to participate in the Rouge Collection  Forum 

 

Same thing with Edwards.....He's a Veteran and on Veterans day he had to speak and be somewhere else which left him on a tight schedule so he had to decline the Rouge Collection event...and right after that a bad article went out about him from Gary...Talking about he's now endorsing Vitter....The articles are online...They are bad news.....and it hurt me because I actually was proud for him when he first started and he had legit reads for Baton Rouge .....now everything is about race and what you did or didn't do for him

 

And on Ms. Banks ...They have a lot of power....it's their  job to speak up for what that district needs...and if we can't get it provide a legitimate reason on why...If you fight for the right things we will stand behind you...But you have been in office how long????

and we are just now hearing you make a fuss around election time....I call crap!

Edited by yis2003yis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riegel: Lessons learned at Howell Place     

With efforts by state Rep. Regina Barrow and Metro Council members John Delgado and Chauna Banks-Daniel, there is a lot of interest these days in redeveloping north Baton Rouge, writes Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel in her latest column.

“For an area that for so long attracted so little attention, it’s refreshing to see such an interest in bringing economic development and prosperity to the blighted neighborhoods and abandoned storefronts,” Riegel writes.

Barrow convinced the Legislature to create the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District with the idea that it will be similar to the Downtown Development District in advocating for the area and fostering growth. Delgado and Banks-Daniel are also working together on creating a special taxing district for the area that would offer property tax abatements for business owners who develop in the area.

Those ideas are great, Riegel says, but will they work? Developer Richard Preis, who oversaw the construction of Howell Place, a mixed-use development on a 205-acre tract at Harding Boulevard and Interstate 110 in the early 2000s, says he thinks it can.

“He has already brought economic development to north Baton Rouge, and he has a unique perspective on the pitfalls, the problems and the potential,” Riegel writes.

Preis turned a 205-acre tract on Harding Boulevard and Interstate 110 in three hotels, a medical center, a YMCA, apartments and several fast food restaurants. And there is more in the works.

Preis tells Riegel he faced pushback from what he calls the Baton Rouge establishments—business owners he believes feared the competition from Howell Place who fought zoning changes and made it difficult to complete the project.

“They did everything they could to stop these three hotels,” he says, which he says made him realize he was “onto something big.”

Preis says incentives are important for businesses that want to risk developing in the area, adding he had three national food chains who showed great interest in developing in Howell Place, but “the economics just didn’t work. If they had had some incentives it would have made a difference.”

Read the full column.    https://www.businessreport.com/article/riegel-lessons-learned-howell-place

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hoping if the NBR Economic  Development District is created they would try to hire someone from DDD.

Edited by greg225

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Provident acquires tract for new senior living facility planned for Americana      

Provident Resources Group has acquired the 4.36-acre tract in Americana, the 413-acre traditional neighborhood development in Zachary, on which it plans to develop a 90-unit assisted living and memory care community first announced in 2014.

Provident Village at Americana, as the development will be called, will consist of 48 units of assisted living and 42 units of memory care. When completed in summer 2017, it will comprise 68,000 square feet of senior living residences and support facilities.

The total project development budget is estimated at $18 million, including the $1.5 million land acquisition.

Provident Resources Group CEO Steve Hicks says Provident Village will be the first such facility of its kind in the north Baton Rouge area, an area where there is clear demand for the services it will offer.

“We had a market study done to test the demand for a quality, high-end, senior living product in the northern part of the parish, and there is strong demand for assisted living and memory care,” Hicks says. “We will be drawing from a large area and will be reaching over into some of the neighboring parishes as well.”

Though Provident Village will be the first such development for Provident Resources Group in Louisiana, the nonprofit development and asset management company has developed and operates several other senior living facilities around the country and plans at least three others for Louisiana in the future, Hicks says.

Provident Village at Americana joins several other recently announced senior living facilities, including The Phoenix at Jamestown, the Blake at the Grove, and the Garden View at Jones Creek.  https://www.businessreport.com/article/provident-acquires-tract-new-senior-living-facility-planned-americana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/11/2015 at 9:28 AM, greg225 said:

I say it shouldn't matter whoever want to help NBR whether they from NBR, or elsewhere or what race they are the area needs help.  With the Airport, Zoo, Louisiana Technical College and Southern University with parish and state owned property as a tax payer he have the right to come up with ideas. If people in NBR think they only can fix the problems in their area without outside help they are crazy.

North Baton Rouge problems impact everyone in the city.   You can't just demand funding and not expect influence and shared goals.  That's not how this works.

Like downtown, north Baton Rouge's redevelopment is going to take buy-in from people all over the metro area and certainly from taxpayers all over the parish.  It's not something that just happens because a few incompetent politicians from the area want it to.   

This posturing over "gentrification" is basically some corrupt local showing the region that they don't actually have to act in the own best interest of their constituents if they don't want to.    Never mind that an influx of investment into the area means more amenities and a better quality of life for the people who actually live there.   If the right wheels aren't greased, they'll continue to exploit their own constituents fears and prejudice.   The exact same crap comes up every time I've seen interest in investing in a low income area.

Edited by cajun
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you guys think that multiple, smaller development districts would be more focused and more successful than one single large district?  

I was thinking a district with taxing power that focused on the area around the airport and Southern U would be a no-brainer.  Probably should be the very first one to kick off.    I can think of 2-3 other ones with significant retail, institutional, or cultural hubs.  

DDD was successful in part because I believe it's focus initially was very narrow.   People weren't fighting over relatively scarce resources as quite as much because it encompassed a small area.   Investment in one spot visibly and obviously improved the whole.......I don't think that would be the case with a much larger district with taxing power.

Edited by cajun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They have that area list in FutureBR as one of the 6 key areas Southern University, Scotlandville, Zion City and The Airport Area, so that area is something they feel they can redevelop.    Scotlandville Gateway plans by EBR Redevelopment  Authority                   Scotlandville%20Catalyst%20Plan.jpg

Edited by greg225
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Antrell Williams said:

Yeah I think that a small district encompassing Southern, BTR, and the rest of Harding Blvd would work the best. 

I would agree. Multiple successful small districts will lead to larger overall success for the entire area. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That area east of Southern U. has potential to be a unique specialized district; with the diagonal main streets intersecting the  street grid...lofty plans...10 years out at least? Plenty of work to be done...

Always seemed odd growing up in BR  seeing no hotels adjacent to the airport ...until Richard Preis vision developing Howell Place...seems like it has been successful with the different components...just wish River Place would have worked out for him.

Made a Howell Place Topic (now stuck back on pg #5) back in 09...over it's 3 1/2 years of activity only got 21 replies...someone else made an Americana thread stuck back there too

Is this Thread A "Consolidation" thread of all of that...or is this too broad connecting NBR with Zachary & Central?  Maybe Antrell can work his magic & spell "Northern" in the title...lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, richyb83 said:

Is this Thread A "Consolidation" thread of all of that...or is this too broad connecting NBR with Zachary & Central?  Maybe Antrell can work his magic & spell "Northern" in the title...lol

Yeah I meant it to be for Baker, Central, Zachary, East & West Feliciana and St. Helena. A counterpart to the Livingston and Ascension threads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.