BATON ROUGE – A project to revitalize downtown Baton Rouge is in the works. The Downtown Development District and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber are partnering to identify empty storefronts and recruit businesses to fill these vacancies.
“I think it sends a negative message when you see that business isn’t thriving or doing well out here, there are people that live here, gas stations, grocery stores, nonprofits all happening here,” resident Ashleigh Dowden said.
The DDD says the first step is identifying the vacant buildings and figuring out what is keeping business out of the area.
“That’s the objective of this project, finding out what’s keeping people from these storefronts and then we’ll have a better understanding of everything else,” Whitney Hoffman Sayal, the Executive Director of Downtown Development District, said.
After that, the groups plan to fill the vacancies with a focus on local and minority-owned companies.
“The end goal is to get people in these storefronts, then get people downtown and enjoy what we have to offer,” Sayal said.The project is expected to take place over the next five years, and will hopefully bring life and excitement to the downtown area.