Nathan Norris, the newly minted executive director of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, addressed about 40 downtown business owners Tuesday evening at Bolt nightclub to offer an overview of his vision for the district — a vision that begins with increasing the downtown’s residential component.
DDA Executive Director Nathan Norris, center, addresses downtown business owners Tuesday.
“We don’t have enough people living downtown. If there aren’t enough people living downtown we can’t get other amenities that make downtown living worthwhile. So that’s the No. 1 goal right now,” Norris said. “We have plenty of options for those who want a rural lifestyle in this region — who want to live where you don’t have hear your neighbor or see your neighbor, there are options for you. We have plenty of options for those who want to live in a suburban area. What we don’t have are a lot of options for downtown living.”
Norris was quick to note that a robust downtown population has far-ranging effects on a community, not just on those who chose an urban lifestyle. “This is a regional issue,” he said. “It’s regional because this is really an economic development issue. It’s not about making the downtown prettier. If you’re a business thinking about moving here, you probably have 10 to 15 percent of your workforce that wants a high quality urban lifestyle. And if we’re not providing it here, the answer is I have to go somewhere else to find it.”
The lawyer/urban planner/real estate broker — Norris is featured in this month’s Cool Town issue — laid out three strategies to achieving the goal: maintain popular downtown events like Downtown Alive! and ArtWalk; improve the amenities package to make downtown attractive to developers; and facilitate what he calls “value-enhancing development” — the types of real estate development that encourages nearby property owners to invest in their own property.
“This isn’t about how we grow, how we plan; this is about whether we want to compete for talent, because that’s what businesses are looking at — they care about people, they care about talent,” Norris added. “If they can’t find the talent here they’re going to go elsewhere.”
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SEP 23 You know CB Forgotston couldn't let that Advocate editorial about the Edmonson Amendment pass without comment. And so here's his comment - and he's not holding anything back. Putting perfume on manure doesn't change the fact that it is manure, he says.
SEP 23 That (unnecessarily rough) hit on Drew Brees in Sunday's game just may have awoken a "sleeping giant," this post on ESPN's NFL Nation Saints blog suggests. One thing nobody can do is give Brees an open door, Mike Triplett writes.
SEP 23 Bobby Jindal may think he's fooling the voters with his attempts to spin a Legislative Auditor's report on Common Core, but blogger Stephen Sabludowsky isn't buying it. In this post, he breaks down a press release from the guv and all the "misleading" statements in it.
SEP 23 Voters may have approved an amendment to our Constitution to de-politicize appointments to our levee boards - but it ain't happening in the staffing of the levee board that filed the coastal erosion suit against Big Oil, columnist Clancy DuBos writes in this post.
SEP 23 Here's the first in what will be a regular column on the NOLA Defender blog that promises to bring us a look at the city's "drinking culture." But writer Joseph Toman says he's not going to be doing bar reviews; instead he's offering "vignettes of characters, venues, and vices." Hey, how can that be bad?
SEP 23 Here's an interesting post on the Washington Examiner with some comments from Bobby Jindal about his refusal to expand Medicaid in Louisiana. He's "held firm" against the big hospital lobby, this post says, because those are the greedy guys trying to get poor people health care. (Imagine, trying to make sure no Americans die because they're too poor for health care. Those jerks!)
SEP 23 There are more women than men registered to vote in Louisiana, Jeremy Alford writes in this post on LaPolitics, meaning they should play a bigger role in this fall's elections. He's pretty sure that's why Bill Cassidy keeps cancelling debate dates with Mary Landrieu - to "limit his exposure."
SEP 23 Here's an interesting editorial in the Advocate about Bobby Jindal's (unbelievably hypocritical) accusation that the White House is a bunch of "science deniers." In his attempt to give the national media an attractive sound byte, he's actually reminding the nation that he signed the law allowing teachers to instruct students on religion in Louisiana science class, the editorial states.
SEP 22 This bit of video from Saturday's LSU game is appalling, whether you're a fan of LSU or not. In it, you can see a Mississippi State player literally stomping on two LSU players during the game, which his team won. Twice the player, Dillon Day, can be seen jumping on the abdomen of LSU players during the game, the Picayune reports here. Day is a senior from West Monroe.
SEP 22 Whether you like him or not, you have to admit that Edwin Edwards has an irresistible story - on so many levels. Here's a post from CNN, which also has been unable to resist. His comments are classic EWE.
SEP 22 Seems like there is nothing the interwebs likes more than listing stuff, and ranking states for good and bad things is a common practice. Columnist Jim Beam takes a look at some of the recent good and bad rankings that Louisiana has racked up.
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