POSTED: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 11:45am
UPDATED: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 11:49am
BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Municipal Association has honored Baton Rouge’s new North Boulevard Town Square with its top Economic Development achievement award for Louisiana cities with populations over 25,000.
In recognition of “the North Boulevard Town Square: A Lively New Downtown Center,” Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden and the city of Baton Rouge received the prestigious Community Achievement Award for Economic Development at LMA’s 75th annual convention in Lake Charles on Saturday, August 6.
The annual Community Achievement Awards are co-sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and LMA.
Mayor Holden said the $7-million North Boulevard Town Square has quickly established itself as the social and cultural heart of Baton Rouge in the four months since it officially opened.
"This project has taken our downtown to the next level among American cities and that increases our ability to attract visitors and new businesses to keep our local economy strong,” Mayor Holden said.
The Town Square project was funded using a combination of City-Parish funds, state sales tax rebates and money from the Federal Transit Authority.
The North Boulevard Town Square project created an acre of open green space in the heart of downtown by reconfiguring several streets near the historic Old State Capital and the new 19th JDC Courthouse. The Town Square includes two stages for concerts, a fountain, tables and chairs, a covered bus stop and a media tower with a high-definition screen.
The $2-million second phase of the Town Square project is slated to begin later this year to extend the park east along the North Boulevard median from Fourth Street to Fifth Street, and as far west as River Road.
The Town Square project has already won a City Livability Merit Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The project has also been recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects, Baton Rouge Growth Coalition and the International Downtown Association.
For more information about the North Boulevard Town Square and the upcoming events that are scheduled there, go to http://townsquarebr.org/