Design and planning firm for Smiley Heights hired
The East Baton Rouge Parish Redevelopment Authority is moving forward with plans for Smiley Heights, now that the Metro Council has appropriated some $433,000 to get the project off the ground. The RDA formally inked a deal Tuesday with the city-parish for the transfer of funds and is finalizing the terms of the scope of work it will bid out. RDA President and CEO Walter Monsour says the money, which was allocated by the council in a mid-year supplemental budget, will go toward design and site prep work. A New Jersey firm, Zimmerman/Volk Associates, has been retained by the RDA to do some design and planning work on the development, which will include a career academy with an automotive training center, a satellite campus for Baton Rouge Community College, residential housing and, eventually, retail outlets as well. "They (Zimmerman/Volk) are doing a housing study to give us guidelines of what kind of housing we need in the area at what price points and sizes," Monsour says. In September, the community will be invited to participate in a multi-day design charrette and to offer input on what elements they would like to see included in Smiley Heights. —Stephanie Riegel
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