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Transportation Enhancement Program Application

December 8, 2009
For release: IMMEDIATELY
For more information contact:
Davis Rhorer, Downtown Development District: (225) 389-5520

City/DDD Receives $1.9 Million for Town Square; Third Street Historic District listed on National Register

Mayor President Kip Holden, joined by the Downtown Development District (DDD), announced this morning at the DDD Commission meeting that it will receive $1.9 million in state DOTD transportation enhancement funds for the proposed new North Boulevard Town Square. This funding is in addition to the previously approved $4.5 million by the City for the square in surplus funds in 2008.

The transportation enhancement funds will be used for pedestrian amenities, streetscape amenities and other landscape and beautification improvements within the Town Square on North Boulevard near the Old State Capitol and River Center Library.

The Town Square is a multi-million dollar development that will transform the currently disjointed area into a center where the city's cultural and civic amenities come together for all to use and enjoy. It is a project recommended by the Riverfront Master Plan.

Downtown Development Director Davis Rhorer said the Town Square is integral for the pedestrian, as it is the crossroads of the cultural epicenter of downtown Baton Rouge. The space will be transformed into a pedestrian friendly zone that lends itself to the community environment that the name "Town Square" implies. We are extremely grateful to the State DOTD for these funds in addition to the leadership of Mayor Holden and the Metropolitan Council for their commitment and funding on this project.

The competitive grant application for the DOTD enhancement funds was prepared by the DDD office in coordination with the City. Rhorer acknowledged Jake Holinga and James Andermann of the DDD office, for their work on the application in this morning's meeting.

Construction on the Town Square is anticipated to begin in 2010, shortly after the new District courthouse is completed next year. When the Town Square is complete, it will be the social and cultural hub of the downtown area, serving as the focal point for programming including festivals and live music concerts. The landscape architecture design team for the Town Square is a joint venture of Brown + Danos landDESIGN and Joseph Furr Design Studio. Both firms are located in downtown Baton Rouge along with most of their sub-consultants.

On a related issue, the Downtown Development District also received official notification from the State Historic Preservation Office that the Third Street corridor in downtown Baton Rouge has been designated as a National Historic District (see map in attachment). Forty-three properties will be eligible to receive Federal Historic Tax Credits under the new designation. Combined with State Historic Tax Credits, a property could potentially receive as much as 45 percent of restoration projects in tax credits. Properties such as the old Louisiana Theater, the Commerce Building and the Capitol One Bank building would be eligible. "The history of this City speaks from this corridor and we are so pleased that it has been recognized nationally for its architecture and character," commented Rhorer.

More information on the Town Square, the Third Street Historic District and other downtown developments can be found on the Downtown Development District's website,


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227 Florida St.  |  Baton Rouge, LA 70801  |  (225) 389-5520 Office (225) 389-5523 Fax  |  8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F

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