richyb83

BREC

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For the Animals safety sake...i'd shy away from that location ..if a serious mishap were to ever occur at Exxon...no time to evacuate them...but i like the Amphitheatre  idea & floating stage
Would maybe  like to see a cleaned up Warehouse District set up possibly set -up (like Antrell said)
Wish they could re-develop the BR Waterworks site;  on River Road  in front of Shaw Center for the Arts into a Louisiana/Swamp-native Riverarium-type attraction to enhance the Cultural District

If something happens at Exxon I'd hope the zoo would be on the bottom of the list of priorities lol.
I agree on the amphitheatre idea though, that could easily work with a warehouse district.
That's a great space for something like that. I think downtown needs a large green space in general. There is essentially nothing as far as parks go downtown.

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dan326    303

In the age of online content, social media, and celebrity culture I think this is their way of breaking the news to us that the zoo is going to move. Honestly, I think they need to because if we're being truthful this is one of BR's only "attractions" so it needs to be in the best position to succeed that it can be. I don't see that at the current location. Even though it would be far away from the interstate, I personally think they should incorporate it into the LSU's south campus and make the whole thing Italianate.

 

https://www.businessreport.com/article/move-zoo-put-brec-superintendent-unveils-plan

If you move the Baton Rouge Zoo, what will replace it? BREC superintendent unveils her plan

BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight is proposing to redevelop the sprawling, 660-acre Greenwood Park in north Baton Rouge—home to the Baton Rouge Zoo and two underutilized golf courses—into a state-of-the-art regional park with tournament-quality soccer fields, horse trails, a practice track, water park, amusement park, boat house and adventure playground, as well as more picnic areas and green spaces.

Key to the plan, which McKnight will present to the BREC Board of Commissioners Thursday, is relocating the zoo, which comprises 147 acres in the center of Greenwood, to a new, still undetermined location in a more visible, highly traveled area elsewhere in the parish.

The plan also calls for closing the J.S. Clark Golf Course, located in the southwest corner of the park, and relocating its driving range and First Tee program for beginning golfers to the nearby Dumas Memorial Golf Course, which is located in the northern quadrant of the park.

McKnight’s proposal for Greenwood comes more than a year after plans to relocate the zoo were vetted in a study that evaluated the cost of both renovating the 47-year-old zoo, which has suffered from declining attendance in recent years, at its existing location and building a new one. The price tag for both options came in at an estimated $110 million, though building a new zoo could be completed more quickly and would attract 50% more visitors, the study found.

 

Screen-Shot-2017-05-24-at-12.47.32-PM.pn

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richyb83    960

The old Zoo location has that Nostalgia thing going for it..kinda sad..however it's probably best to move i guess. 

Do you think what they are proposing(Amusements/Water Park etc)  as the replacement will work out well??

Guessing part of that 900+acres for sale mentioned years back  off I-12  btwn O'Neal Lane & Amite River is off the table?? Could be too flood prone??

Edited by richyb83

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dan326    303

I agree, it is sad.

I think the replacement is a good idea but I don't know if that location'll work. Maybe they can find a way to keep a few animals there, like an aviary or petting zoo?

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mr. bernham    125

I think this is the best possible replacement and with improved access it has the potential to be very popular, especially with residents that live closer.

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cajun    534
On 5/25/2017 at 11:08 PM, dan326 said:

I agree, it is sad.

I think the replacement is a good idea but I don't know if that location'll work. Maybe they can find a way to keep a few animals there, like an aviary or petting zoo?

It needs to move and expand.....but I've got no clue where to put it.   Maybe Cortana can be leveled and a zoo can go there?  

I can't imagine the Cortana property is prohibitively expensive.

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mr. bernham    125
2 hours ago, cajun said:

It needs to move and expand.....but I've got no clue where to put it.   Maybe Cortana can be leveled and a zoo can go there?  

I can't imagine the Cortana property is prohibitively expensive.

It going in at Cortana could actually raise some economic development interest for the area.

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richyb83    960

It's about time the Capital City gets a Children's Museum

Children's Knock Knock Museum nearing Completion

Three all-glass corners of the building that jut skyward will draw the attention of anyone passing by the building.

"Those three beacons were kind of conceived as almost lanterns that would be illuminated at night and really draw attention to the building," said Guelfo, who is the project manager for the museum. "The views from that hill are just incredible, unlike anything Baton Rouge has, We really wanted to try to take advantage of the views to the park and to the lake. There was an opportunity for a lot of glass."

http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_496f0e9e-5c28-11e7-a953-3bf4554869f2.html

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dan326    303

Yah know, I think they should just keep the zoo where it's at because if you look at a map they really don't have a lot of land or a nice wooded environment for a zoo south of I-10.

Additionally who are these donors whose contributions are contigent upon building the zoo in south BR? The fact that none of the articles mention Harveston makes me wonder if Mike Wampold is a donor and wants to build the zoo to generate revenue since his retail component is probably no longer viable.

Edited by dan326
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richyb83    960

Leaning toward the Zoo staying at the current location; but get the feeling if a new location were to happen; it would have closer access to I-12 or I-10(Bass Pro/Cabela's) as a Regional-type attraction

Cortana would be interesting; even if the space were large enough there are not enough full grown trees to support a new Zoo...the smaller ornamental trees there now wouldn't work...Zoo's need plenty of shade. 

Would the large undeveloped swath of green canopy I-12 East of O'Neal Lane still be viable after the Great Flood of '16?

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dan326    303

I don't know. While that could be a good spot it seems like they would have to build everything up very high which might make it too expensive. That's probably the best location within EBR south of I-10 though. Or along River Road, but that wouldn't be more convenient and would probably be met with resistance like the casino.

Edited by dan326
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dan326    303

I haven't read every zoo article but I wanted to add that I think the media is being a little naive about the main reason the some people want to keep the zoo in north BR (really Baker). That or that don't want to acknowledge it since its harder to combat. Since the the death of Cortana, the zoo, the airport, and maybe the Coke factory are really the only nice pubic landmarks left in north BR. Naturally people want things in their community that they can be proud of. In this way "economic engine" or whatever buzzword they use is kind of a euphemism for a place of pride as well something that generated jobs. People in the more prosperous parts of the parish probably don't explicitly view it this way because they're used to having things but I'm sure everyone knows what I mean. Like when we finally get a popular chain establishment we feel a since of pride about BR, well that's the same thing with neighborhoods too. I don't really have a proposed remedy or saying one thing is right or wrong but I just wanted give my 2 cents on this part of it.

 

So, I couldn't leave well enough alone and googled all the people that were on the steering committee. Now I realize being a public figure or business person doesn't me you're only in it for self-interest but it does make one more cautious of motives.

Mike Wampold - developer
Dennis Blunt is a lawyer practicing in the area of commercial litigation in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana office of Phelps Dunbar
Rep Garrett Graves - district 6 louisiana
Scott Hensgens Managing Partner of Breazeale, Sachse, & Wilson - healthcare
Gail O'Quin -According to google she's from Ethel and was a chairman at Mary Bird Perkins and various assisted living organizations
Clyde Johnson - former Southern Professor
Sue Rainer - wife of late Robert Rainer: a lawyer
Charlie Lamar of Lamar advertisement lineage 
Todd Waguespack - Level Homes Partner

 

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dan326    303

I contacted the BREC director. He was very polite and enthusiastic about answering questions. He said they actually considered Burden Gardens but it doesn't reconcile with the mission statement and that a lot of the River Road is undevelopable because you have to build it up to protect the structures from groundwater.

About Mike Wampold he said they invited him to be on the committee because of his real estate expertise and that that land wasn't the first choice.

He also said they'd have trouble raising money at they current location which I can personally see being an issue.

Even though it seems like I'm flip flopping I'd actually like to see it move, just not to an inferior location.

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cajun    534

It's a difficult task.  The location they need should be able to capitalize off other attractions in Baton Rouge, which are centered around downtown, LSU, Rural Life, Knock Knock, etc.   

The existing location isn't even in north Baton Rouge. Its north of north Baton Rouge in a stagnant area with not much visibility.   

So try to find a spot that is:

1:  Large enough to handle a boat load of parking, which was never adequate at the current location.    

2:  Large enough to relocate all of the existing attractions, and then possibly an aquarium and science/biology related museums.  

3:  Adjacent space for incremental expansion over the next 30 years, including museums and green space.   

4: In a good enough location to draw more visitors (and thus sponsors), which means reasonably close to the region's center of population, fairly close to major highways, or moved in the general direction where the population growth is actually happening.   

5: Reasonably easy to protect from all but the most extreme floods and bad weather.     

 

It's a difficult task even without the unreasonable, foolish requirement that it stay way the heck out in Baker.  I honestly don't think there are many options that don't involve moving it pretty far out unless they get some kind of land grant from the LSU Rural Life Museum or Magnolia Mound (or surrounding areas).  

We have mentioned repurposing City Park Golf Course, but I don't think that is even large enough.   Maybe Webb Park?   Somewhere in the horse farm area on Jefferson?   Old Sherwood Golf Course?

If they could fit it on the Rural Life Museum property (perhaps north of I-10), that is about the best location you can get.  

Edited by cajun
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cajun    534

And another thing...if you leave the zoo in its current podunk location or let it close without replacing it, you are asking for Ascension or Livingston to set up an alternative later instead of using their admission fees to fund a Baton Rouge attraction.  

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mr. bernham    125
On 7/10/2017 at 8:24 PM, cajun said:

It's a difficult task.  The location they need should be able to capitalize off other attractions in Baton Rouge, which are centered around downtown, LSU, Rural Life, Knock Knock, etc.   

The existing location isn't even in north Baton Rouge. Its north of north Baton Rouge in a stagnant area with not much visibility.   

So try to find a spot that is:

1:  Large enough to handle a boat load of parking, which was never adequate at the current location.    

2:  Large enough to relocate all of the existing attractions, and then possibly an aquarium and science/biology related museums.  

3:  Adjacent space for incremental expansion over the next 30 years, including museums and green space.   

4: In a good enough location to draw more visitors (and thus sponsors), which means reasonably close to the region's center of population, fairly close to major highways, or moved in the general direction where the population growth is actually happening.   

5: Reasonably easy to protect from all but the most extreme floods and bad weather.     

 

It's a difficult task even without the unreasonable, foolish requirement that it stay way the heck out in Baker.  I honestly don't think there are many options that don't involve moving it pretty far out unless they get some kind of land grant from the LSU Rural Life Museum or Magnolia Mound (or surrounding areas).  

We have mentioned repurposing City Park Golf Course, but I don't think that is even large enough.   Maybe Webb Park?   Somewhere in the horse farm area on Jefferson?   Old Sherwood Golf Course?

If they could fit it on the Rural Life Museum property (perhaps north of I-10), that is about the best location you can get.  

I know there are existing plans to turn the Rural Life Museum into a true botanical garden and park area. A smartly designed zoo could do wonders and maybe fulfill that mission.

Webb Park would never happen. Too many residential neighborhoods around it. Not to mention it would be a traffic nightmare. The horse farm area would be brilliant if designed right and turned into a larger park.

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cajun    534
20 hours ago, mr. bernham said:

 

Webb Park would never happen. Too many residential neighborhoods around it. Not to mention it would be a traffic nightmare. The horse farm area would be brilliant if designed right and turned into a larger park.

The Memphis zoo is in a residential neighborhood, but it is also part of a larger park.   It's an excellent zoo too.   It certainly contributes to additional traffic in the area, but it is such an asset that the neighborhood doesn't seem to mind.  I think there's a decent chance of selling it to people if it is part of a larger centralized park.   Webb is not my first choice, but it could be a viable option provided the neighbors don't fight it.  

But as was pointed out earlier, it is very hard to beat the Rural Life museum area - particularly the section north of I-10/south of I-12.   That location is pretty much unbeatable for a regional attraction like a zoo.   That's exactly why OLOL, BRG, and those corporate offices locate there.   Horse farm area would be almost as good as that, although I imagine that it would be very expensive to acquire.   It's also close to I-10 pretty centralized in the metro area.    Unfortunately both of those spots are plagued with traffic problems already.

The area near Forrest Park would be my 3rd choice.   It's a about a mile from Millerville/1-12 and a mile from Sherwood/!-12.   There's a large piece of land on both sides of Harrell's Ferry.   They could easily do a parking deck on one side with a walkover bridge to the zoo on the opposite side.  They'd essentially never run out of space - and they'd have I-12 frontage for a very elaborate sign similar to the St. Louis zoo.  There's a lot of mature tree canopy to work with here too.    This is probably the best location in town if traffic is a concern (other than maybe Airline park), since it already fronts a 4 lane divided road and has equal access to two freeway exits.     

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No need for consulting fees.  I've solved the problem.   

Edited by cajun
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cajun    534
On 5/25/2017 at 4:31 PM, dan326 said:

 

 

Screen-Shot-2017-05-24-at-12.47.32-PM.pn

Baker will essentially get the nicest park in the Baton Rouge metro as a consolation prize for moving the zoo.   Not a bad deal at all, although i'd have liked to see more athletic fields and some kind of mountain bike trail.   

On 7/9/2017 at 1:51 AM, dan326 said:

That or that don't want to acknowledge it since its harder to combat. Since the the death of Cortana, the zoo, the airport, and maybe the Coke factory are really the only nice pubic landmarks left in north BR. Naturally people want things in their community that they can be proud of. In this way "economic engine" or whatever buzzword they use is kind of a euphemism for a place of pride as well something that generated jobs. People in the more prosperous parts of the parish probably don't explicitly view it this way because they're used to having things but I'm sure everyone knows what I mean.

A big problem contributing to this is that there's no highway link north of town to encourage development and traffic in that direction.   The center of population in the metro area is SE of downtown and moving slightly farther SE every day.    

I think Antrell posted a link for a proposed freeway linking Baton Rouge to Natchez and Jackson via I-110.   something like that would be needed to generate more traffic in the area round Scotlandville, which would in turn generate more viability for retail (not to mention the airport, whose service level for a city of 850,000 is atrocious).

Something like this would help connect central/south Louisiana to the Mississippi Delta, Little Rock, NE Louisiana.   It would also be a catalyst for economic development in Natchez, McComb, Monroe, Pine Bluff, etc.  This would help funnel traffic towards the northern end of the parish. 

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The highway infrastructure crosses East Baton Rouge at its narrowest point.   It needs better infrastructure to the north to influence growth patterns.

 

Edited by cajun
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mr. bernham    125

Cajun, I live in the Webb Park Neighborhood area. The streets are are very narrow (2 lanes) and the traffic spill onto College would be an absolute nightmare. Not to mention the majority of residents here (I'm not including myself) are very white, very rich, very privileged. They would fight a zoo tooth and nail. 

The best option I think would be your proposal. It would go great there. 

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I would like to see an interstate exit if it were to be at Cajun's proposed location. That kind of investment would end up making S Harrells Ferry a more population retail or commercial destination. 

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richyb83    960

Nice article makes good points for new zoo location at City Park including new Children's museum & redevelopment of Lakes ...the 9 hole golf course is pathetic + Webb Park is only a few minutes away.

Compares Austin ( 2 million )  "6" public golf courses  to BR's (830,000) had 7 courses until Howell Park recently...Based on population alone would have BR at 2.5 courses........

SIDE NOTE : IF they are going to make that comparison..then i 'll make this one...Austin currently has 10 office buildings over 300'ft....then vertically - challenged BR should have 4...not 1 ....One American Place 310'ft...(south Chase Tower 277'ft)

‘Business Report’ Publisher: Baton Rouge and BREC need to think differently about zoo location

https://www.businessreport.com/article/business-report-publisher-baton-rouge-brec-need-think-differently-zoo-location

 

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cajun    534

City Park Golf Course seems very small for a decent zoo, especially one that will need room for gradual growth.    They'd have to use space very efficiently and probably rely on a parking deck across the street to accommodate the crowd.   It would be awesome to have the zoo restaurant and meeting area on the lake though.    

Could they build a great zoo right there? 

Edited by cajun

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