Plans to revamp Nicholson Drive area waits approval

Published: Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:58 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2013 at 1:04 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - You may have noticed some road work happening on parts of Nicholson Drive near LSU. In the next few years construction crews could be even more common in this area if the LSU Board of Supervisors approve the Nicholson Development Project.

"Right now it's kind of like a super service road as you drive down it, and we want to make it a destination for people...this is LSU. I know I'm here," said Steve Waller, executive director of the Nicholson Development Project.

It's a plan five years in the making, Waller says it was long overdue.

"We realized we had a commitment to our family and graduate housing population. We realized that the Nicholson properties have served us well for a lot of years, but were tired," said Waller.

After studying the most efficient way to improve the area Waller's team came up with their plan. They would create a multi-use facility that would include residential, office and retail space. A big part of it is filling a need for updated housing for married students.

"It'll attract more married and family-oriented students to come to LSU because that's an option," said Whitney Roddy, a married LSU senior.

"Our campus is a very beautiful place," said LSU PhD student Dagoberto Diaz. "It would be just great to have more nice areas, and this project seems to be aiming for that."

Waller says even if the project is approved by the board of supervisors, it could take a few more years to get started.

The proposed improvements could cost anywhere between $150 million and $200 million. Exactly who would pay for the project is still to be determined, but it will likely be a combination of public and private funds.

Waller says the Nicholson expansion is part of the larger FutureBR project which is aimed at revamping the entire city.

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