The community identified a need to improve design standards, drainage, and beautification of Florida Boulevard. Being a main entrance into Denham Springs, Florida Boulevard should be improved to reflect the spirit of a vibrant community. This addresses part of the community’s vision statement being clean and safe City. The desired community outcome is to strengthen the business community, encouraging new business growth, and creating a sense of place.
This project is designed to develop an implementation plan to revitalize the Florida Boulevard Corridor so that you know you are in Denham Springs when you cross into the City – a destination, rather than just a pass through area. Currently the development along Florida is haphazard and not inviting.
The plan is divided into two phases:
Phase 1 – Develop a baseline that identifies and maps all properties, assets and existing conditions along Florida Blvd, broken into 3 sections:
- Amite River to Capitol
- Capitol to Range
- Range to Gray’s Creek
Phase 2 – Identify short & long term improvement priorities that could be done in the sections above. Improvements to consider include:
- Reduce vacancy & remediate blight
- Complete a market analysis for the corridor area to identify priority business sectors
- Attract facilities focused on youth activities – Bowling, Laser Tag, Gaming Arcade
- Analyze crash data to determine if there are spots that need traffic safety improvements
- Install better lighting along the corridor and beautify with landscaping
- Install bike lanes or multi use paths/sidewalks along corridor
- Make connections across Florida for both pedestrians and bicycles
- Drainage improvement with green infrastructure to collect and use water onsite.
Possible Funding Sources, Technical Assistance, and Partners:
- American Planning Association
- Federal Highway Administration
- LA Department of Transportation and Development
- Capital Region Planning Commission
- Project for Public Spaces
Estimated Timeline: Long-Term (3+ years)
Estimated Cost: High ($1 million+)
During the second community meeting, participants ranked this project 8.68 out of 10 with respect to level of importance.
Through the federal Opportunity Zones Program, banks, communities and others may create Opportunity Funds to direct tax-advantaged investments to 150 federally designated Opportunity Zones in Louisiana. The above tract in Denham Springs was nominated by Governor John Bel Edwards on April 30, 2018 and approved by the US Department of Treasury May 21, 2018. Part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zones program will establish low-income communities as tax-advantaged areas for new long-term private investment.