Source: WBRZ By: WBRZ Staff
BATON ROUGE – Build Baton Rouge, the redevelopment authority of East Baton Rouge Parish, will be using funds from a $5 million award to fund the Plank Road Masterplan’s initiative to eliminate blight, grow small businesses, and preserve housing affordability in North Baton Rouge.
The capital city earned the money after winning JPMorgan Chase’s 2020 AdvancingCities Challenge, which is a $500 million five-year initiative to drive inclusive growth and greater economic opportunity in cities.
Baton Rouge was one of seven cities to win funds in the 2020 challenge.
As the funds are used to carry out details of the Plank Road Masterplan, Build Baton Rouge will partner with Metromorphosis, TruFund Financial Services, and Co-City Baton Rouge 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 -preserve housing affordability through the formation of a Community Land Trust.
Build Baton Rouge and its partners look forward to building up north Baton Rouge’s Plank Road community, an area that, once a thriving and vibrant part of town, is now home to residents who struggle with poverty, blight, and crime.
According to Build Baton Rouge, 37% of the Plank Road Corridor’s households are living below the poverty line.
The Plank Road Masterplan is an initiative designed to provide the area with long-term solutions aimed at alleviating such poverty.
JPMorgan Chase’s collaboration with Build Baton Rouge and its partners will implement the Plank Road Masterplan over the course of three years, aiming to use place-based development principles that recognize existing community assets while prioritizing the community’s expressed needs for change.
“This partnership features deep technical expertise, authentic community connections and a rigorous race and class consciousness…that ensures the delivery of components of the plan while centering the community’s voice and making measurable change,” said Christopher Tyson, President and CEO, Build Baton Rouge. “It also has the credibility to unite people across a variety of divides.”
Tyson has also invited members of the community to participate in the Collaborative and its imagining of an exciting and positive future for north Baton Rouge.
Click here to contact Build Baton Rouge.
Other cities that won money from JPMorgan during the challenge include Minneapolis, MN, Boston, MA and Philadelphia PA.