richyb83

Plan Baton Rouge

916 posts in this topic

Plan Baton Rouge should have been a "topic" a long time ago. This is really what UrbanPlanet.org is all about.

This plan has been mentioned several times in the past(April 06); and even caught the attention of our friend TUrban all the way from Richmond VA. :thumbsup:

Plan Baton Rouge has been recognized nationally for its success in focusing citizens and public agencies on a common goal

(back in 98). The plan introduced the concepts of new urbanism and downtown is well on its way to remarkable success because of proactive planning. The downtown plan is widely recognized in the community as a Smart Growth model because it relies on existing infrastructure, balances the needs of the auto and pedestrian, enhances the pedestrian experience and offers a centripetal force for sprawl. "New Urbanism".

Check-out the website:

http://www.planbr.org/

This 10-year "Master Plan" was the catalyst for downtown BR's (potential "true")rebirth. Some things have gone according to plan; some have been even better; some things have gone nowhere; and some things have yet to happen.

Some big things this plan has been responsible for:

* The Capitol Park Complex(new state bldgs.) added over 3,000 new workers downtown-completed Summer 06'

- consolidating state offices that were scatterd across the city and saving $ with no more leasing

* RiverCenter expansion

* Irene W. Pennington Planetarium (added to the LASM)

* Shaw Center for the Arts-2005

* Implementing YMCA and Main Street Market into the two new state parking structures

* Renovation of the historic Capitol House into the 293-room Hilton Capitol Center

* More pedestrian friendly River Road

* New Louisiana State Museum

* Renovating many smaller properties along Third Street and Main Street and others

* Strenghten historic neighborhoods Spanish Town and Beauregard Town

> More Residential living and tourist to become a vibrant 24/7 destination

> Also the Riverfront Masterplan on the boards we are waiting to hopefully see one day??

Downtown Baton Rouge with the planetarium(left); renovated Hilton Capitol Center; Shaw Center for the Arts(right)

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The old Auto Hotel renovated into the LSU Museum of Art and implemented into the Shaw Center for the Arts

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Lafayette Street Arts Block with bricks for traffic calming effect in the shadows of the Old State Capitol and Lafayette Park

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River Road pedestrian improvements with the expanded River Center

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Most important renovation project in the history of downtown BR! Shut-down in 1985 and left for dead the 293-room Hilton Capitol Center opened in late August 06' and compliments the Shaw Center for the Arts nicely! :shades:

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Irene W. Pennington Planetarium & Space Theatre is a great addition near the riverfront downtown!!! :thumbsup:

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Renovation on Third Street with loft living on top

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Iberville & LaSalle state buildings

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New La. State Museum with Galvez(left); Beinville(right)

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The four new state buildings along North Street back to back to back(Galvez, Bienville, Iberville, LaSalle) covering four blocks

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Gateway to Capitol Park

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Renovation of the BR Area Foundation HQ's; Fourth Street @ Laurel

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Thank you Plan Baton Rouge!!! Downtown left for dead NO MORE!!! Slowly, but surely Downtown is coming back!!!

The residential projects are now starting to take shape. We will add to this thread as Downtown starts to thrive!!!

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I hate to say it, but I'm actaully pretty suprised it worked so well now that I thikn about it.ut I'm glad it did. It would be great to have a place to go have fun with no car.

Also this has nothing to do with downtown, but it does pertain to underapprieciated areas. I think it's great that Coke is building their plant in North B.R. rather than Siegen on Denham Springs. :D

Edited by dan326

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^ It will be interesting to see what exactly the Audubon Institute's study will find this Summer for a new destination in downtown BR?!?. Also I can wait for the wave of residential projects to be completed. The residential componet will be the key to a thriving place. Downtown has come a long way...but has a long way to go. I have a feeling the Summer will be exciting, I can't wait to take some new construction pics. :camera:

Agreed Dan, good to see the Coca-Cola plant going near the airport in NBR. They will have plenty of room to expand in the future.

And thanks Dan for your replies; it makes making these threads worth it. :thumbsup:

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What kind of study is the Audabon Institute doing on downtown? Just hearing that name gets me excited because I know that whatever the study finds will be great for the city.

I surely do hope that Riverplace breaks ground this summer because I'm going crazy waiting on it. I know that a lot of lofts are being developed, but maybe someone could get together and build a highrise apartment building. That would definately make downtown a 24 hour spot and draw many retailers to downtown.

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Thanks for the reply bobby255BR, it's always good to get your imput :thumbsup:

^ That's what I am wondering too?? But you are exactly right, if the Audubon Institute is involved, it should be very nice project indeed!!! I had suggested some type RiverArium with "native" aquatic life at the old BR WaterWorks property in front of the Shaw Arts Center; across River Road from La. Arts & Science Museum/Planetarium/Space Theatre.

^^ No doubt Bobby, the anticipation of RiverPlace is high; not that easy being patient anymore either! Also Camm Morton will be announcing plans for the Laurel Street property real soon. Some sleek condo lofts will be going there; I had posted my idea (on Future Construction site thread) last week. The next phase at Shaw Arts Center will have a couple of separate loft projects. One should be 6 to 8 stories on Third at Convention Srteet.

Further down Third at Main; the Levey,Kress & Welch building should be gutted by now. Other Third Street properties will soon follow too. The old Gordon's jewelry bldg. is nearing completion. The old Advocate site and also the property near Hollywood Casino should have something in the 10-15 story range. Want to know what Harley & Vey will finally do with there giant parking lot??

And yes grocery/drug store and other retail will be nice at street level. A Dave & Buster's type of development would work good adjacent to the proposed Jazz Club at the Commerce Bldg. on Third Street too.

Trahan architects has a couple of projects in the works on North Boulevard and Lafayette Street??

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Downtown is doing it up, but retail is needed badly.

Kip said something about Niketown, what happened to that? A Gap would work, and Gameworks or D&B, something to do and get people to spend monies downtown. I'll wait to see what else is planned.

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I agree LT! Thanks for your reply! :thumbsup: For retail to work, more residential development is needed IMO.

Good question! I have not heard anymore about Niketown either. D & B would work great somewhere along Third Street. I'm not totally familiar with Gameworks, but I like the sound of it! I'm also curious what the Audubon Institute will decide in downtown.

Also can't wait for the bigger projects like II City Plaza(early Summer) and new Courthouse(bidding this week?) to fil-in the gap of the skyline in the southern CBD. BRCVB is looking for office space in te heart of the arts & entertainment district with the 2nd phase of the Shaw Center. The 80,000sq.ft 5-story LaCAP Bldg. on Main Street at Seventh Street was finally opened when I past by a week ago.

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Niketown? I've never heard of that, but it sounds neat.

I would like to see Audubon suggest something like the downtown Dallas Aquariam rainforest atrium. But that probably too ambitious. -_-

:offtopic:

Does anybody know how we managed to lure both a Cabela's and a Bass Pro at the same time?

Edited by dan326

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Niketown? I've never heard of that, but it sounds neat.

I would like to see Audubon suggest something like the downtown Dallas Aquariam rainforest atrium. But that probably too ambitious. -_-

:offtopic:

Does anybody know how we managed to lure both a Cabela's and a Bass Pro at the same time?

Niketown is nothing more than a Nike Outlet store. They have one up in Bossier City. It would be nice to have one of those dowtown and a D&B (or Jillians)

http://niketown.nike.com

147643274-M.jpg

Edited by byrde

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The Niketowns I've been to where huge, department store of all sporting gear. Gameworks is the same as D&B, but more Saga games. One day our downtown will be downtown. And not all state offices and courthouses.

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No doubt ! Downtown needs a grocery store(not just SpanishTown grocery) and WalGreens. They also need an entertainment complex like Dave & Busters; throw in a small bowling alley and movie cinema too. A Jazz Club will be cool. Maybe a music store and maybe an oxygen bar. With more residentail a CC's coffee house might work.

The YMCA inside the state parking garage on Third Street is cool. And Main Street Market was another great idea.

Good question Dan, I don't think anywhere else in the U.S. have a Bass Pro and Cabela's so close. They don't call Louisiana the "Sportsmans Paradise" for nothing.

Edited by richyb83

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I think it woul be neat to use the retro sign for the closed down Broadmoor Theater for a theater downtown. I think they also need some national chain restaurants downtown(like a Chili's/Applebees) something people can go to and know what they're getting.

While I in no way don't want it to happen, it's kind of sad that they are building a downtown look alike (Perkins Rowe) that is better than our real downtown. I wonder if in a few years people unfamiliar with B.R. will enter on I-10 westbound and drive by Perkins Rowe and think it the real downtown. :lol:

Edited by dan326

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Excuse my ignorance here, but just about all of you are mentioning the "Audubon Institute" and even after looking back through the thread, I couldn't find anything more than that. Are you guys talking about the Audubon Institute of New Orleans? Or is this something completely different?

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^ No problem Nate, just glad to see you posting in the BR Forum :thumbsup: A few months ago it was said that the Audubon Institute would conduct a study for a new tourist destination for downtown BR. A decision is supposed to be made sometime this Summer. My proposed RiverArium a year ago on UP would be a nice idea IMO.

Ha Ha Dan....I can imagine the State Capitol on Bluebonnet :lol:

The Retro Broadmoor theatre sign would look really cool and add some pizzaz. Chili's would be cool...but Dave & Busters has more entertaining stuff from what I've heard.

Edited by richyb83

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No doubt ! Downtown needs a grocery store(not just SpanishTown grocery) and WalGreens. They also need an entertainment complex like Dave & Busters; throw in a small bowling alley and movie cinema too. A Jazz Club will be cool. Maybe a music store and maybe an oxygen bar. With more residentail a CC's coffee house might work.

Well we have PJ's coffee downtown. Once you have more people living downtown, the drugstores will come. It would be cool to be able to go to dinner and a movie downtown or dinner and bowling. Park in one location and walk ever place you need to be downtown.

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That was quite an impressive plan, thanks for the links richy. The city had some real pros put it together -- my hat's off to the BR city leaders who coordinated this. :good:

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^ You are welcome! Thanks for visiting the BR Forum ExpatBaman. :thumbsup: I did not realize the importance of this plan when it started back in 1998. Downtown was left for dead, cruising thru there on Friday & Saturday Nights was a depressing ghost town. But slowly and surely things have really picked up! And the momentum has a positive vibe. Shaw Center for the Arts and the Hilton Capitol Center is the catalyst for more nice development in the near future. It's great to see the turn around!

Several large projects are about to begin finally. Some smaller and mid-sized projects have already began.

Edited by richyb83

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I agree there should be a "destination" restaurant downtown, I was just saying that they also need some more plain restaurants. :)

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Earlier this year Trahan Architects bought this entire block on North Blvd. This office building will be demolished after the lease is up at the end of this year.

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Maybe something like this can take it's place?? Ground level retail with lofts above.

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*Trahan Architects has a few other properties along Lafayette Street

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That would be a great fit along North Blvd.

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That would be great. I would like to see more projects like that. :)

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Thanks for starting this thread, richyb. Downtown is really sizzlin. It seems like everytime I go downtown on a Friday evening there are a few more people, with a few more things to do, staying downtown just a little longer than the last time. Last week my girlfriend and I headed downtown after taking some of art tours they had set up in midcity. When we got downtown Live at 5 was awesome, 3rd street was lively in general, and later on that night the rooftop at Tsunami was the most crowded I'd ever seen it. It shows how long-term plans like these can pay off long-term. Shaw Center seems like the real catalyst.

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You are welcome, this thread should have been started last year; it had been brought up several times in BR Growth & Development. Thanks for your imput bluff2085, it's much appreciated.

You are right!!! Slowly and surely more and more there is more life downtown. Shaw Center for the Arts when completed in Spring of 05' marked a serious vibrant upswing for downtown. I like your term "sizzlin"! The roof-top terrace is the coolest hang-out in all of Baton Rouge; the view is sweet :thumbsup: They even had a NBA playoff basketball game projected on to a wall outside when I was there last time. The Hilton Capitol Center compliments the Shaw Arts Center. Other developments will continue to feed off of these.

This next wave(phase) of residential will help give downtown a 24/7 feel.

Great to hear that Live After Five was awesome. It will be interesting to see what Third Street will look like the next 3-5 years??

The Mid-City Art Melt continues to grow. My Mom had paintings there last year in the Elizabethian Gallery of Jefferson near Government. It's good to see Mid City thriving once again. Definetly a unique area of BR. And BRCC has really helped. It has triggered more development. Hopefully Westmoreland shopping center will eventually be re-developed after two failed attempts.

Edited by richyb83

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This could be thread worthy...but it falls into the Plan BR category

*Old SBR groups to hold meeting; public can discuss guidelines

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/business/8346507.html

Participants also will hear from top local officials about community initiatives and get a peek at the latest developments in the neighborhood between LSU and downtown, the city lakes and the river. (Nicholson & Highland corridors)

In the past five years, more than $150 million in public and private capital has been invested in the neighborhoods of Old South Baton Rouge.

On The Internet:

http://www.osbr.org

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I would love to see more done with Old SBR. That area needs some major help. It is such a great location being situated between campus and downtown. I think safe viable housing would greatly enhance that area. I have long said that Highland Rd between campus and downtown would work great for a BR version of NOLA's Magazine St. What do you guys think of that idea?

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