Downtown East looks to redevelop neighborhood - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Downtown East looks to redevelop neighborhood

(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)

There's a new neighborhood in Baton Rouge hoping to get noticed.

With Downtown Baton Rouge booming and Mid-City making its way, the people living in Downtown East feel like they are stuck in the middle.

“It kind of falls between the gaps and that's part of the reason we organized Downtown East Civic Association," said board member Winston Riddick. "Because Mid-City thinks it speaks for us and Downtown thinks it speaks for us. And we welcome everyone to come to the table, but the truth is the people who live here should have a say on what to do with it.”

The area is basically bordered from 22nd Street to Interstate 110 with Government Street and its southern border and 110 serving as its northern border as well.

The neighborhood is a mixture of several things from churches to new condo but included a great deal of abandoned homes.

“And there are plenty of abandoned houses in this neighborhood and crime occurs mostly in those abandoned houses,” Riddick said. “If we don't kind of get on the program and make the appearance of the neighborhood better we're not going to turn it around.”

Dale Flowers grew up in the neighborhood and is now a pastor at a church in the area.

“They know that our arms are open and our doors are open,” said Pastor Flowers. “That's why were in the community, walking the community and being a part of it. We don't just want to be a church but we want to be a part of this community.

"I'd like to see it become what we once were a working-class community where individuals cared about the community and they were a part of the community and they were a family and I think we can get back to that.”

The civic association said they have already identified the abandoned homes and will be working with city leaders to take care of them.

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