Officials are working on developing a pedestrian and bike path under the Interstate 110 overpass that would connect the Downtown Greenway with Government Street.
Gabe Vicknair, assistant executive director for the Downtown Development District, said during Tuesday’s DDD Commission meeting that the Louisiana Avenue Connection will cost between $100,000 to $200,000 to build. The connection would link the Downtown Greenway, a bike-and-pedestrian corridor in Old South Baton Rouge and Beauregard Town, with Government Street.
Because Government Street “gets a bit hairy” for people on bikes or on foot around the I-110 overpass, Vicknair said the path for the connection would break off from Government at 13th Street. It would then go along Louisiana Avenue, passing under the interstate, until it ties into the greenway at T.J. Jemison Boulevard.
The connection work would cover building pathways, sidewalks, adding lighting under the interstate and planting trees. The DDD is looking for grant funds to help cover the cost.
Davis Rhorer, executive director of the DDD, said the connector would be one of the first projects his organization is taking on in the downtown east area.
“There is a prime, prime opportunity for new residential development in this area,” Rhorer said.
In other DDD business:
Michael Lang, development manager for the mixed-use Commerce Building in Baton Rouge, said people started moving into the property within the last week. Of the 24 apartments that are available for rent, Lang said there are tenants in 15 of them. Over the next month, the five remaining floors in the Commerce Building will be turned over to renters. There will be 93 apartments in the building, along with a rooftop restaurant, a fitness center and downtown locations for Magpie Café and Gaudet Bros. barber shop.
The husband-and-wife owners of Cocha, a new downtown restaurant, discussed plans for their eatery at 445 N. Sixth St. Enrique Pinerua and Saskia Spanhoff, two restaurant industry veterans, said the restaurant will feature locally sourced, seasonal, fresh food. Plans are to have a mix of eclectic flavors at Cocha, with dishes having Spanish, French, African and Caribbean influences. Cocha is set to open in July and will be open for lunch through dinner on the weekdays and for brunch on the weekends.
A relighting ceremony for the neon Coca-Cola sign at Florida and Third streets will be held Friday at 8:15 p.m. East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden will lead a second line from the Live after Five concert in North Boulevard Town Square to the sign. The ceremony will commemorate the new ownership of the sign, which is under the control of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation after a yearlong dispute.
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