Mixed reactions over plans for old Entergy site

Mixed reactions over plans for old Entergy site

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A big Mid City redevelopment project is closer to becoming reality, but not without a little controversy.

Plans have been released for what to do with the old Entergy site on Government Street near the railroad tracks.

One woman living near the site is excited, but her councilwoman says she should be very concerned.

28-year-old Raylisha Randall lives next to one of Mid City's largest eyesores. Now that there's plans for the old Entergy site, Randall could not be happier.

"I support the plans there. Yes, I do," said Randall.

The EBR Redevelopment Authority (RDA) announced plans on Monday to build apartments, shops, maybe even a transportation hub and a farmers market on the six-acre site.

"That sounds wonderful, especially a farmer's market," said Randall.

Randall does not have a car. She takes a bus or gets a ride to her cleaning job at Hollywood Casino, and she walks to get groceries. She says that can take an hour.

"They have the Shopper's Value, but that's way up Government. A market is really what's needed there. It would save the hour bus ride, save the walk, very convenient," said Randall.

That's if she can afford to shop there, according to councilwoman Tara Wicker. The building is in Wicker's district.

Wicker, a former community developer, is unhappy with some parts of the plans. She met with the RDA Wednesday.

"Ultimately if we don't look at doing some sort of a mixed-income community. You will have property owners that ideally will raise the prices of their property. The people that live there now will not be able to afford to live there," said Wicker.

Wicker wants affordable housing to be mixed-in with plans of higher-end projects.

Another concern, Wicker says the community was not given an opportunity to give their opinions on what to build.

This is a taxpayer-funded project and still in the planning stages. No date has been set for construction. WAFB reached out to the RDA for a comment, but has yet to hear back.

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