Revitalization Efforts in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans Gets Boost with Louisiana Main Street Program Designation
BATON ROUGE, La. –Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and Louisiana Main Street announce the selection of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans as a designated Louisiana Main Street district. The Lower Ninth Ward Main Street is the second area to complete the Lagniappe Community process leading to a Main Street designation. The Lower Ninth Ward Main Street joins four other New Orleans area Main Street districts – Broad Street, North Rampart Street, O.C. Haley Boulevard, and Old Algiers. The Lower Ninth Ward Main Street district will stretch along St. Claude Avenue from Sister Street to Government Street, extending one block north to Marais Street and one block south to North Rampart Street.
“We are excited to welcome the Lower Ninth Ward as a Louisiana Main Street district. The designation as a Louisiana Main Street District serves as a catalyst for change in communities that otherwise may not have been possible,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. “In an area of New Orleans decimated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the goal of the Lower Ninth Ward Main Street is to revitalize the historic economic district through the restoration of vacant lots and abandoned buildings along St. Claude Avenue with a mix of commercial and residential developments, offering resources for job creation and increased home ownership. This corridor through the Lower Ninth Ward is the heart of this community and the people who live near the area will reap the benefits from seeing commercial buildings put back into productive reuse.”
The next step in this process for the Lower Ninth Ward Main Street was celebrating the groundbreaking for a Fresh Stop Market, serving as one of the anchors of the revitalization effort. Fresh Stop Market, a 1,600 square foot healthy corner store and community learning kitchen, will be the only area convenience store offering a variety of local fresh fruit and vegetables on a consistent basis. The groundbreaking took place Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 5029 St. Claude Avenue. Construction is expected to be complete by May 2022. The Lower Ninth Ward Main Street will work to support the restoration of blighted historic structures on the corridor and return a local business experience.
The Lower Ninth Ward Main Street district is working with a leadership team and putting together an event for early 2022 officially welcoming the district to the Louisiana Main Street program.
“We are extremely excited that the Lower Ninth Ward has been selected for participation in the Louisiana Main Street program! The Sankofa CDC team has been working with our community on several upcoming developments in the Lower Ninth Ward, with the groundbreaking of Fresh Stop Market on St. Claude Avenue as the springboard of those developments. The Louisiana Main Street program will aid in applying a strategic approach to restoration of the St. Claude Avenue corridor, through revitalization of historic commercial buildings, localized small business support, and by highlighting the unique cultural assets of the beloved Lower Ninth Ward,” said Rashida Ferdinand, founder and executive director of Sankofa Community Development Corporation. “Our inclusion in the Louisiana Main Street program will assist in collective endeavors to ensure the Lower Ninth Ward community continues to expand its revitalization efforts.“
Acceptance into the Lagniappe Community program provides communities with an intensive 12-18 month capacity-building process to establish a pathway to the National Main Street Center’s Main Street America program. Failure to complete Lagniappe benchmarks within the 18-month period results in termination of the Lagniappe process. The application process begins with a Letter of Intent (LOI) being sent to Louisiana Main Street advising of the community’s intent to submit an application for participation in the Lagniappe Community program. Once the letter is submitted, the community has 30 days to submit all application materials.
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $79.12 billion in new public and private investment, generated 640,017 net new jobs and 143,613 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 284,936 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
For more information on the Louisiana’s Main Street program visit the Louisiana Main Street webpage.