The $750,000 makeover of Riverfront Plaza, the recreational space along the downtown levee across from the Raising Cane’s River Center, is scheduled to wrap in March.
Renovations include new decorative and security lighting, landscaping, and the installation of a sound system for the small, underutilized amphitheater in the plaza, as well as a water garden that will feature lush plants native to Louisiana.
“A lot of school kids come out there, so it will be a great way for them to assemble,” says Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District. “It’s at a great location, next to the River Center and the Louisiana Art and Science Museum.”
The project, which has been under construction the past few months, is part of the Riverfront Master Plan, which has been guiding development along the downtown riverfront since 2006. It’s being paid for with the sales tax rebate from the state hotel-motel tax.
Coinciding with the plaza’s transformation are additional riverfront improvements.
Most significantly, a 13.1-mile promenade for pedestrians and bikers will ultimately connect Hollywood Casino to L’Auberge Casino and Hotel. While the western half of the promenade is complete, the eastern half should be finished “at some point in 2019,” says Rhorer, who couldn’t provide a dollar value for the project before deadline.
In the meantime, sidewalk improvements and tree planting will continue along River Road.
“River Road has traditionally been considered a service road,” Rhorer says, “but we’re trying to change that image.”