Baton Rouge, La. – October 26, 2020 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Build Baton Rouge announced Monday the receipt of $5 million to implement the Plank Road Master Plan.
The grant award will be administered to the City-Parish/BBR by JPMorgan Chase’s 2020 AdvancingCities Challenge. The five-year initiative supports comprehensive solutions to complex systemic challenges facing communities across the country.
“Plank Road was once a thriving commercial corridor in East Baton Rouge Parish, and unfortunately the former epicenter of Baton Rouge has faced disinvestment. Our residents deserve to live in a community marked by growth and opportunity, and our Plank Road Master Plan lays the foundation to comprehensively address the challenges facing this region of our parish,” said Mayor Broome. “This investment from AdvancingCities moves Baton Rouge closer to achieving peace, prosperity, and progress for all of our residents.”
Build Baton Rouge, along with Metromorphosis, TruFund Financial Services, and Co-City Baton Rouge will use the award to help fund the Plank Road Master Plan. The comprehensive plan includes programs to eliminate blight, increase economic opportunities, and improve public health outcomes while preserving housing affordability and protecting the cultural integrity of the region.
The Plank Road Master Plan will be implemented over a course of three years and aims to use place-based development principles that recognize existing community assets while prioritizing the community’s expressed needs for change.
“As one of the co-leads for the Mayor's transition in 2016, I know how important it was for her to activate Build Baton Rouge to carry out her vision for North Baton Rouge. Since then she has committed the resources and political capital for us to implement that vision through the development of detailed plans and new partnerships. You cannot have a successful redevelopment authority without visionary and committed Mayoral leadership,” said Christopher Tyson, President, and CEO, Build Baton Rouge. “This AdvancingCities award is a testament to the Mayor's ability to craft a bold vision and activate all the necessary pieces for it to blossom into reality. Many people have talked about revitalizing North Baton Rouge, but Mayor Broome knows how to actually get it done. This is evidence of that.”
Baton Rouge is one of seven cities to receive the 2020 AdvancingCities award funding; the Plank Road Master Plan was selected from over 150 proposals submitted by 78 cities throughout the United States.