Board approves sale of land for CATS North Baton Rouge hub
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana State University's Board of Supervisors has approved the sale of land in North Baton Rouge to be used as a CATS transit hub.
The CATS Board of Commissioners approved the $235,000 purchase of real estate property located adjacent to LSU Health North on Airline Highway from LSU and the State of Louisiana.
“This is an exciting next step that puts us closer to opening an improved hub that will greatly benefit our riders and businesses in North Baton Rouge," CATS CEO Bill Deville said.
The property was initially planned to serve as a parking lot for the health clinic at the site of a former K-Mart. But LSU's Health Care Services Division recently decided to seek approval to sell the adjacent land to CATS.
The purchase of the property is still pending an environmental clearance from the Federal Transit Administration, as CATS plans to use federal funds to later build the facility on the land.
Because this tract of land was acquired with a capital outlay appropriation, the $235,000 received from the sale must be returned to the state. The HCSD will ask the state to return the funds received from the sale back to HCSD to be used to address deferred maintenance issues.
CATS' strategy for this property includes a significant investment for the hub location, including an enhanced customer service experience with comfort stations, a circular transfer point for our buses, retail space addressing the food desert concern, community rooms, and parking.
The North Baton Rouge Hub is one of four permanent transit hubs CATS plans to build in the coming years. The agency is looking into alternative funding streams for capital growth, including naming rights to transit hubs and shelter stations.