Ardendale Master Plan
Ardendale is a vision for the unified development of a 200-acre parcel of property in the Smiley Heights/Melrose East neighborhoods. In the early years of its existence, Build Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation worked to acquire the previous 20 parcels of property that comprise the Ardendale footprint. The initial developments included the Baton Rouge Community College McKay Automotive Technology Center and the East Baton Rouge Parish School System Career Technical High School. In 2019 Baton Rouge was awarded a $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant for the development of housing and other community resources in the neighborhood. Implementation will begin in 2020 with the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority breaking ground on 500 units of mixed-income housing.
Ardendale is all about revitalization, a fresh start, but without turning it’s back on it’s heritage. Ardendale best represents the combined landmarks or Ardenwood and Lobdell and respects the surrounding Mid City neighborhoods. Being the first of its kind in Louisiana, this exciting new development will be an Iconic one!
Community Improvement Plans
In 2011 and 2012 Build Baton Rouge led comprehensive planning efforts over eighteen months to create Community Improvement Plans for five districts within East Baton Rouge Parish, including the Choctaw Corridor, Northdale, Melrose East, Scotlandville Gateway, and Zion City & Glen Oaks. The plans are community-driven with residents and other stakeholders providing input for guiding the future reinvestment and development in their communities to ensure that redevelopment efforts are sustainable and in keeping with each respective community’s needs, character, and vision, as determined through discussions between Build Baton Rouge, elected officials, and community stakeholders. In addition, the plans deliver action-oriented strategies that identify opportunities for reinvestment back into the community, while building upon the momentum of other revitalization efforts currently underway.
Only one of the plans, the Scotlandville Gateway plan, was incorporated into the FutureBR master plan. In October 2018, the Metropolitan Council approved the plan areas and additional redevelopment focus areas as targeted areas for redevelopment, requiring Build Baton Rouge to deliver quarterly updates on progress under the plans.
Please click on the links below to learn more about the individual plans.
Plank Road Master Plan
The Imagine Plank Road Plan for Equitable Development is the result of a year-long urban planning and community engagement effort focused on the Plank Road corridor between 22nd Street and the Harding Boulevard/Hooper Road intersection. The plan delivers a transit-oriented revitalization plan to address the concentration of blight and vacancy that has made Plank Road one of the most unsafe, dysfunctional, and unattractive corridors in Baton Rouge.
Plank Road is the most blighted corridor in Baton Rouge yet remains a significant anchor for the neighborhoods of North Baton Rouge. The area has a rich history and remains home to numerous neighborhoods and businesses that have longed for the attention and creativity the area deserves. Early in 2018 Build Baton Rouge convened the Capital Area Transit System (CATS), the City-Parish Department of Public Works (DPW), the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), and others to collaborate on how to transition secure funding for a bus rapid transit (BRT) line connecting Plank Road with downtown and the Nicholson corridor south of downtown. BRT was conceived to be an essential vehicle for funding the infrastructure upgrades necessary for Plank’s revival.
As BRT planning was underway, BBR was awarded a $100,000 JP Morgan Chase Partnerships for Raising Opportunity (PRO) Neighborhoods Planning Grant. BBR leveraged the planning grant to secure an additional $125,000 in grants to support from the John and Virginia Noland Fund, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the ExxonMobil Foundation, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, General Informatics, Investar Bank, and WH Pacific. The funding supported the hiring of Asakura Robinson, a New Orleans-based planning firm that served as the lead planner for the effort. BBR also requested the Metropolitan Council transfer over 80 blighted and adjudicated parcels to its land bank in an effort to secure potential sites for the catalytic development activity envisioned through the planning process.
BBR also embarked upon a year-long community engagement process that created a series of events that celebrated culture and community while eliciting insightful feedback and direction from neighborhood residents and other supporters of the effort. More than $50,000 was spent on neighborhood-based and minority businesses who were integral components of an equitable approach to urban planning. Participants were invited to imagine a new Plank Road and all activities were curated on social media under the hashtag #imagineplankroad.
Asakura Robinson began their work in January 2019 and the final plan was released in November of that same year. Also in November 2019 Baton Rouge was awarded a $15 million U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD (Better Utilizing Infrastructure to Leverage Development) grant to implement Louisiana’s first BRT system, ensuring that Plank would be redeveloped in accord with transit-oriented development principles.
The Imagine Plank Road Plan For Equitable Development and supporting materials can be found below.
Rail Station Master Plan
In 2018, Build Baton Rouge received $450,000 in project funding from the Federal Railroad Administration with matching funds from the City-Parish to create a master plan for the placement of two state-of-the-art, multimodal passenger rail stations in Baton Rouge for the proposed Baton Rouge to New Orleans intercity passenger rail corridor. Local engineering firm HNTB was hired to conduct the planning and design activities and delivered a plan in March 2019 reflective of local community and stakeholder input.
The proposed Baton Rouge to New Orleans intercity passenger rail corridor would deliver daily service between the cities, starting in downtown Baton Rouge with stops at the Baton Rouge Health District, Gonzales, LaPlace, the New Orleans airport and terminating at Union Passenger Terminal in New Orleans. The project is championed by Gov. John Bel Edwards and all governments along the route. Trains would roll on existing, upgraded rails that are already transporting cargo across the region.
The Rail Station Master Plan envisioned a Downtown Station near Electric Depot and a Suburban Station in the Baton Rouge Health District. Both stations are intended to enhance current revitalization efforts and offer well designed, quality facilities with amenities that will create a seamless, efficient and pleasant experience for all train riders.
Entergy Master Plan
Build Baton Rouge launched the Entergy Master Plan to revitalize the former Entergy buildings and surrounding six acres on Government Street. BBR sought a creative development partner for a signature site to activate Government Street and catalyze reinvestment. The 6.1 acre site is just 1-mile from Downtown Baton Rouge with multiple developments and redevelopment opportunities.