What a difference a year makes!

Last year, Build Baton Rouge announced the Imagine Plank Road Plan for Equitable Development. The Plan articulated a community-led vision for equitable development built around various projects, including a bus rapid transit route (BRT) connecting North and South Baton Rouge. In November 2019, Baton Rouge was awarded a $15 million federal grant for Louisiana’s first bus transit line which will run along the Plank Road corridor.

Almost one year to the date of the Plan’s unveiling, we’re proud to announce that Build Baton Rouge is the recipient of a $5 million philanthropic investment from the JPMorgan Chase AdvancingCities Challenge. Build Baton Rouge’s 2020 AdvancingCities award will help fund Masterplan programs that will eliminate blight, grow small businesses, and preserve housing affordability in North Baton Rouge. To accomplish these goals and deliver the grant’s objectives, Build Baton Rouge has partnered with Metromorphosis, TruFund Financial Services, and Co-City Baton Rouge.

The partners make up the Baton Rouge Collaborative and aim to:

  • develop a grocery-anchored mixed use development with over 40 affordable housing units on the new bus rapid transit line;
  • renovate a 3,500 sq. ft historic building into a Food Incubator that will provide commercial kitchen space, deliver fresh food and offer job training;
  • provide financial and technical support to 15 new and existing minority-owned businesses;
    upgrade 15 building facades along the Corridor;
  • transform a 4,000 sq. ft vacant lot into a community pocket park; and
  • preserve housing affordability through the formation of a Community Land Trust

We invite you to join us in imagining an unprecedented future for North Baton Rouge! Baton Rouge offers ample opportunities for innovative approaches to advancing racial equity and the impacts of systemic disinvestment. Our AdvancingCities award validates that great things are underway and we are a community worth fighting for.

For more information, go to www.buildbatonrouge.org/advancingcitiesbr.