BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A four-year partnership between the city and a local organization is coming to an end after years of innovation and revitalization.
Big changes are coming to redevelopment organization Build Baton Rouge. Although leadership is shifting, Build Baton Rouge CEO Chris Tyson said the vision is still clear.
“People have pulled me up on the street and said, ‘I’m so glad someone was thinking about Plank Road or these other areas,'” said Tyson.
Tyson is finishing up his tenure and headed back to LSU Law to continue his professorship.
“While we certainly hate to see him leave, he has certainly given us a great foundation to continue to grow, build, thrive as we do redevelopment in our community,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.
He helped the organization transform the city through major projects developed under him.
“Transportation, housing, corridor development, small business growth. We’ve established a small revolving door for businesses in North Baton Rouge,” he explained.
This came as parts of Baton Rouge have been in desperate need of revival.
“Addressing our city’s various divides, not the least of which being racial, geography and class divides that we have in the city. That kind of marks the disadvantages we have in the city,” said Tyson.
Millions of dollars have been poured into these goals. From the Plank Road Master Plan to HUD housing and transit improvement grants, he and his team worked closely with the city to make these dreams a reality.
“We took over the community development and management for the city in regards to HUD dollars. We did that as an interim measure and we worked with the mayor’s office to stabilize the program and in doing so, we repaired over 200 homes in the last several years,” he said.
Build Baton Rouge may be changing but it plans to continue completing existing projects and work toward new ones.
“We’ll see some properties that will be put into commerce. Projects like the YWCA’s daycare center as part of one of the developments. I anticipate we’ll see grocery stores in the area, and most importantly, I believe Build Baton Rouge is on the right trajectory to make a difference and they already have,” said Broome.
“The most gratifying thing about the last four years is for so many people in the community to signal to us in a variety of ways that they see the work, they understand it, they’re thankful for it, but they also want more of it,” added Tyson.
To learn more about the organization and its project click here.