LT. GOV. LANDRIEU TARGETS NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESS DISTRICTS FOR PRESERVATION & REVITALIZATION -- 010/09/2006
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2006
LT. GOV. LANDRIEU TARGETS NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESS DISTRICTS FOR PRESERVATION & REVITALIZATION
Louisiana Urban Main Street Program awards grants to pedestrian-friendly commercial areas with local ownership, distinct architecture, and historic identities. 5-year grants worth $1.5 million awarded to North Rampart St., Oak St., Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, and St. Claude Avenue business districts
(Baton Rouge, LA) - In a continuing effort to assist Louisiana communities to revitalize their commercial and cultural "Main Streets," Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu is pleased to announce the award of preservation and business revitalization grants to four New Orleans neighborhoods with established traditional commercial corridors. Those business districts are North Rampart Street, Oak Street, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, and St. Claude Avenue.
The five-year grants, valued at $1.5 million dollars in cash and in-kind staff training and technical assistance, are a result of a public-private partnership between the Lt. Governor's Office, the Louisiana State Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
"These grants will go along way towards rebuilding our neighborhoods and the historic commercial districts that help make our communities so unique, " Lt. Governor Landrieu said. "Many small businesses are still struggling, and our Urban Main Street grants will help these businesses stand up."
The principles of the main street program work beautifully in America's small cities and towns. In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, these same principles will be applied to neighborhood-based rebuilding in New Orleans.
"The Main Street Program has delivered a significant return on investment for the State of Louisiana," said Angele Davis, Secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "In 2005, the Main Street Initiative recruited 138 new businesses, created 504 new jobs and leveraged over $12 million in private investment."
As part of the grant, each community will receive operational funds, monies to restore building facades, a technical advisor assigned to the project, and a contract with the National Main Street Center. The Main Street Center, a division within the National Trust, helps a community refocus its attention on economic development by helping existing businesses expand, and by recruiting new businesses to respond to the changing community. The business districts will also receive training in principles that have helped community "Main Streets" nationwide: organization, design, and promotion.
The Louisiana Main Street Program is a community-driven, comprehensive program to revitalize older traditional business districts. For over two decades, the program has provided a generous package of financial and technical assistance to recipients throughout the state.
In the month of November 2006, 24 towns all over Louisiana will demonstrate how the "Main Streets" program has helped to revitalize their respective communities. The month-long program called Louisiana Main-to-Main: A Cultural Roadshow, is designed to foster economic development in towns with traditional downtown main streets while showcasing the rich and diverse cultural assets that make our state and its communities unique.