RFP: Planner needed to plan revitalization of a blighted corridor in Louisiana

The East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Redevelopment Authority (“EBRRA”) is soliciting proposals from qualified professional firms (“Consultant”) to facilitate a planning process that culminates in the development of a comprehensive master plan (“Master Plan”) for the Plank Road Corridor.

The EBRRA desires the Consultant to deliver a detailed and comprehensive corridor master plan that addresses land, economic and community development for the corridor in relation to needs of the adjacent neighborhoods and the broader needs of metropolitan Baton Rouge. Proposals are being requested from qualified firms with considerable experience in urban policy, sustainable design, land redevelopment, transportation and pedestrian circulation, economic analysis, form-based codes, and strategies to achieve racial and economic equity. The final document should establish a strong, long-term vision for the Plank Road Corridor. The planning process is anticipated to be completed within nine (9) months of commencement.

This grant is funded by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation‘s PRO Neighborhoods grant program, the ExxonMobil Foundation and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. A $100,000 planning grant for revitalizing the Plank Road corridor was been awarded to the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority by JPMorgan Chase.

The RFP is for a comprehensive plan to redevelop the Plank Road area, which is described as the most blighted part of Baton Rouge. The RFPs are set to go out Wednesday, with the goal of selecting a firm by December to develop the plan, said Chris Tyson, executive director of the RDA. Tyson said it will take six to nine months to work on the plan.

This comprehensive master plan effort is part of a larger, coordinated focus on Plank Road which the EBRRA has named the Plank Road Project. The Plank Road Project envisions a transit-oriented revitalization of a 4.3-mile segment of Plank Road and consists of three components: 1) planning for a proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) installation; 2) land banking of adjudicated and blighted parcels to support catalytic development projects; and 3) creating a comprehensive revitalization master plan. While this RFP is concerned with the third component, all components are interrelated. Together they represent an unprecedented level of investment targeted at one of Baton Rouge’s most disinvested and embattled neighborhoods.

It will take about $250,000 to develop the comprehensive plan. The RDA has raised a total of $190,000 from Chase and other partners like ExxonMobil. “The centerpiece will be planning for the improvement of the neighborhood for the benefit of the businesses and residents living there now,” EBRRA executive director Chris Tyson said. “This approach brings opportunity and resources to a historically dis-invested neighborhood in ways that benefit all of Baton Rouge.”

While waiting for private investors to come up with permanent uses for the land such as infill residences and businesses, Tyson says there are non-capital-intensive ways to engage Plank Road residents, such as creating community gardens, pocket parks and pop-up parks.

Proposal Due: November 9, 2018 by 5:00 PM CDT

Photo via Google Maps.

See full RFP.

See EBRRA website.

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