Downtown Development District’s strategic plan includes new ‘clean and safe’ program

Downtown Development District’s strategic plan includes new ‘clean and safe’ program
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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — In a bid to revive downtown Baton Rouge, the Downtown Development District committee is putting together a new strategic plan.

The committee is trying to bring more businesses to the area by making it more aesthetically appealing. One of their programs will kick things off by cleaning vandalism and heightening area security.

Executive Director Whitney Hoffman Sayal says the agency cannot fund the program within its budget but expects to seek other revenue sources, including a public-private partnership.

“And they add a level of extra security and cleanliness… So those could be safety ambassadors, as well as cleaning teams that are removing graffiti, pressure washing in streets, those sorts of things,” Sayal explained.

The director also wants to fill the vacant buildings with mostly minority-owned businesses.
The goal is to have downtown revived in the next five years.

The DDD has budgeted about $50,000 for the strategic plan, which includes approximately $42,000 for a consultant and leaves room for additional spending on marketing.

Sayal aims to begin distributing surveys that will draw attention to the plan before the end of March and then present a plan to the DDD Commission in August. 

The DDD is working with the International Downtown Association to provide “cold hard data” about the area’s value to the rest of the parish. That report is in the works.

In the meantime, Sayal is actively promoting downtown Baton Rouge as a vibrant facet of the capital city that plays a key role in attracting and retaining young professionals. 

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