RDA looking for planning firm to spearhead Plank Road revitalization

    The East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority is issuing a request for proposal to hire a planning firm that would lead revitalization efforts for the blighted Plank Road corridor.

    “We’re looking for a team to facilitate the planning process,” says Tara Titone, RDA vice president. “We’re looking for the establishment of a strong, long-term, implementable vision for the corridor.”

    The organization is allocating some $150,000 to hire the firm. The bulk of the money would come from a $100,000 planning grant from JPMorgan Chase that was announced today as part of the firm’s $125 million, five-year Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods competition. An additional source of financial support, says Titone, will be announced later this week.

    Though the RFP won’t be officially released until Wednesday, Titone says the firm would be tasked with creating a “ready-to-implement master plan,” addressing land use, economic development and community support possibilities for the corridor, culminating in the development of urban design and social equity planning.  

    A transparent selection process will then take place, says RDA executive director Chris Tyson, modeled after the process BREC used to hire a firm to master plan a reimagined Greenwood Park. He tells Daily Report he’s currently forming a selection committee.

    At its meeting Wednesday, the Metro Council will vote on three agenda items related to the Plank Road redevelopment project, which include:

    • Revising the cooperative endeavor agreement between the city-parish and RDA;
    • Designating certain areas as targeted areas for redevelopment and tasking the RDA with developing redevelopment plans for each area;
    • Transferring ownership of 91 adjudicated properties from the city-parish to the RDA.

    The RDA has been working to redevelop the Plank Road corridor for months, eyeing Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s planned bus rapid transit system as a key component for the area’s revitalization.

    View Comments