East Baton Rouge Parish officials are launching a master planning effort to boost economic development along the Florida Boulevard corridor.
Officials hope the plan will help to create jobs by enhancing private sector projects while catalyzing development in areas where it might not otherwise be economically feasible, according to a prepared statement from Mayor Sharon Weston Broome.
“The master plan will capitalize on key investments along the Florida Corridor, like the new Amazon Fulfillment Center, and provide a unifying vision for north and south EBR,” Broome says.
The Cortana Corridor Economic District was created in 2021 in cooperation with Build Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Metro Council member Cleve Dunn Jr. Last summer, the Metro Council voted to allow the district to capture an estimated $1.5 million in new sales tax revenue generated by the redevelopment of the Cortana Mall site into an Amazon distribution facility.
Creating a comprehensive master plan for the area that addresses transportation, land use, urban design and community development is one of the district’s main goals. The effort ties in with BRAC’s strategic plan, which calls for concentrated redevelopment efforts in north Baton Rouge and developing the Florida corridor from the Mississippi River to Livingston Parish.
“Florida Boulevard is often viewed as a dividing line between the Baton Rouge community, but it can and should be the uniting line,” says Adam Knapp, BRAC’s president and CEO.
A request for proposals to help develop the master plan has been released and a consultant could be chosen by March, Broome’s office says.