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Mayor Broome proposes future plans for Raising Canes River Center

2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago Wednesday, May 22 2024 May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024 9:27 PM May 22, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome on Wednesday proposed a plan to not only redevelop the River Center but also to add something new. It's something Broome says will allow everyone to enjoy downtown Baton Rouge.

At the Metro Council meeting, the Mayor's office presented its vision to expand convention space and add a new hotel in the facility that would allow more space for visitors.

"We want this to be a capital region star that attracts people from all over," Broome said. "My goal is to see bigger conferences come to Baton Rouge as well, and that's why we need this."

Mayor Broome noted that the River Center can't currently compare to other convention destinations around the state. She said it doesn't have the space or the setup.

"This piece of the puzzle for us is just crucial, we need to have the River Center revitalized and redone in order to continue to recruit those meetings and events and conventions in our city," Jill Kidder with Visit Baton Rouge said.

Some Metro Council members were happy with the plans and said changes are long overdue for the downtown area. Under the mayor's plan, Councilmember Carolyn Coleman would chair the project's oversight committee.

"Some may ask why, and then I ask the question why not? So it is time for us to do something with downtown," Coleman said.

"We have the necessary ingredients to take this vision and move it to the next step. We all have to believe that it can be done and then we all need to be a part of the process," Councilwoman Jennifer Racca said.

The community has already started expressing concerns over the council's priorities, but members are adamant that they can handle more than one job.  

Councilman Aaron Moak said he's getting calls from constituents who say the council should be more concerned with local problems, including the formation of the City of St. George.

 "We can move this city forward, we can keep it working forward, we can continue to tackle the issues happening with the city along with this," Moak said.

The proposal is expected to be considered at the next Metro Council meeting.

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