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Ribbon Cut on Milestone Development Project
Private Developers along with State and Local Representatives cut the ribbon for the River Park underpass

Access to one of Baton Rouge's greatest assets, the Mississippi River, just became easier. This morning a large crowd gathered as the ribbon was cut for the River Park four-lane underpass. The privately funded project allows public access to 36 acres of undeveloped property primed for development and adjacent Hollywood Casino.

Major Mississippi River development project unveiled. The $14.5 million joint river front venture between developer Pete Clements and Hollywood Casino celebrated its grand opening this morning.

After nearly 5 years of approvals, funding and construction, the four lane road that now passes under the Canadian National railroad tracks represents only the first phase of a mixed-use development just north of the casino.

Although the underpass was paid for privately, it took considerable help and hard work from numerous partners to bring the project to fruition. The Mayor's Office, the Metro Council, Baton Rouge Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Downtown Development District, and the State of Louisiana all played important roles.

"This project opens up a significant part of our riverfront for development," said Mayor-President Melvin L. "Kip" Holden. "With increased access to such a large tract of undeveloped riverfront, we expect to see private investment take off in the future."

The new underpass will finally provide unimpeded vehicle access to over 80 acres of prime Mississippi River property and a mile of its riverfront including the Hollywood Casino property.

The tracks have hampered many proposed projects in the past. Residents and planners have complained for decades that traffic on the railroad cuts downtown Baton Rouge off from perhaps its greatest asset, the Mississippi Riverfront.

With the underpass project now completed, much of the development envisioned for the area can finally get underway.

"This project strengthens Downtown's position as the being the premiere place to live, work, play, and dine," said Davis Rhorer, Executive Director of the Downtown Development District in Baton Rouge. "What was once a working gravel pit, will soon become a 36 acre mixed-use development district with a 10 acre riverfront park making it a regional attraction. This underpass access allows an extraordinary opportunity for development on the Mississippi River unparalleled in Louisiana."

For the area, the economic benefits are staggering. "This development is projected to create over 1,400 temporary jobs and more than 3,400 full-time positions directly and indirectly," said Mayor Holden. "And we expect $103 million in local tax collections just in the first 10 years alone."

Plans for the site include a riverfront park and boardwalk, a riverfront bicycle path, beautiful hotels, residential development including nearly 800 units, modern office space plus, an entire retail and entertainment complex.

Contact Pete Clements for additional information at 225-753-7999

For a full listing of upcoming events, visit our website.

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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