Real estate recap: Fregonese gives broad outline of comprehensive plan ... HPC rescinds preliminary finding against Preis
The work begins in 2010: John Fregonese, the urban planner who has been brought in to update the East Baton Rouge land use plan, gave a broad outline of what issues are being considered. To make the region appeal to skilled workers, he says ramping up the “digital economy” should be a priority, as well as presenting the area as welcoming of a multiethnic population in order to attract economic development. In a couple of days, he says a Web site, www.futureebr.com, will detail some of his strategy for the parish’s comprehensive master plan and a five- to seven-year strategic plan to implement it. The planning is set to kick off at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 26 at the Louisiana State Museum.
Some issues still need to be settled: The city’s Historic Preservation Commission at its meeting rescinded its preliminary finding that property owner Richard Preis is “demolishing by neglect” seven run-down homes he owns in historic Spanish Town. The move settles, for now, a controversy that has raged since last summer, when Preis first announced plans to try to tear down the homes to make way for the Capitol Lofts apartment complex, which was opposed by the neighborhood and has since been shelved. While the issue is temporarily resolved, several questions remain unanswered—like the future of Preis’ houses and his plans for them. Preis says he would consider selling them but “only if the numbers are right,” adding he is going back to the drawing board to decide how to proceed.
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