What’s next for the new River Center and hotel development?

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome submitted her proposed plan for next steps in developing a new River Center and complementary headquarters hotel to the Metro Council last week.

The proposal adheres to the ordinance the council approved last month, which OK’d LSU’s plans for a new arena and directed the mayor to identify strategies for developing additional convention capacity and soliciting a developer to develop a convention hotel at the River Center.

Per the ordinance, the mayor’s proposal is subject to a public hearing and a Metro Council vote  before design and construction can move forward.

Broome proposes the Metro Council create a Project Oversight Committee, comprised of key stakeholders from downtown Baton Rouge and throughout the parish. District 10 Councilwoman Carolyn Coleman would serve as the committee chairperson, along with another councilmember appointed by the Metro Council.

The committee would also have designees from the Mayor-President’s office, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Build Baton Rouge, Downtown Development District, the local hospitality industry, the North Baton Rouge Economic Development District and Visit Baton Rouge.

Mayor Broome’s proposal also calls for a project management team consisting of development and finance professionals to assist the MetroCouncil and its Project Oversight Committee with preparing the requests for proposals for the design and construction phases of this project.

Throughout the process, each phase and detail of the proposal would be subject to Metro Council approval.

This story originally appeared in an April 12 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.