JEDCO, Jefferson Parish release housing revitalization plan for Jefferson Parish neighborhood
Born out of the Jefferson Parish Housing Stock Enhancement Strategic Plan
, the Terrytown Neighborhood Revitalization Study Strategic Plan aims to provide a suite of tools, resources and recommendations that will improve existing housing stock, encourage the development of new desirable housing units and improve the neighborhood amenities and infrastructure in Terrytown. Terrytown is the oldest planned suburban development in Jefferson Parish. The Jefferson Parish Council voted for Terrytown to become the first neighborhood for the pilot program because of its many community strengths, opportunities and challenges. The plan will serve as a model for other neighborhoods across Jefferson Parish, providing opportunities to retain residents and attract a new generation of homebuyers.
Work on the Terrytown Neighborhood Revitalization Study Strategic Plan
began in late 2018. The project team, comprised of JEDCO, the Jefferson Parish Planning Department and Tulane’s Small Center, hosted meetings to gather input from residents and key stakeholders, such as Parish directors, bank lenders, the Terrytown Civic Association, Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans
, the Jefferson Parish Finance Authority
, and the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors
. The project team conducted a zoning and land use study of Holmes Blvd. and Behrman Highway, developed architectural design guidelines for new and renovated homes in Terrytown, and began researching available financing/grant options for homeowners and homebuyers.
Following months of stakeholder input on opportunities and challenges, data examination and analysis, and a review of best practices nationwide, the project team developed a set of strategies to inform the future of Terrytown’s sense of place and housing options. The action items are divided into three primary categories.
Neighborhood amenities, services & infrastructure: The plan calls for a comprehensive suite of actions to improve neighborhood amenities and quality of life in Terrytown, including streetscape and public infrastructure improvements; opportunities for funding and development on publicly owned land; enhancement of public services related to quality of life improvements; encouraging commercial development in vacant and underutilized commercial properties; and more.
Land use & development regulation: During the planning process, the project team under Jefferson Parish Planning engaged in a land use and zoning study of key corridors within Terrytown to evaluate recommended zoning changes that would promote the neighborhood qualities of Terrytown, enhance safety, and improve walkability and physical appearance. As a result of this plan, the Jefferson Parish Council approved the rezoning of sections of Holmes Boulevard and Behrman Highway in Terrytown to encourage neighborhood commercial development with complete streets that improve pedestrian and bicycle accessibility. The plan also calls for other action items that enhance the quality of life, safety, and development throughout Terrytown.
Housing stock enhancement: The plan recommends several housing stock enhancement programs and initiatives that are designed to encourage new investment and reinvestment in housing within the Terrytown neighborhood. Tulane’s Small Center used the feedback provided by residents to develop architectural design guidelines that not only appeal to prospective homebuyers but also retain the historical significance of the existing structures and character of the neighborhood. The plan also calls for the development of a new Model Home Pilot Program, which will feature contemporary interior and exterior designs that are in high demand by today’s homebuyers. In addition to tackling the appearance of the homes in Terrytown, the plan also highlights opportunities to finance home renovations and construction. The project team developed a toolbox of available funding, financing programs, and grants to stimulate investment in Terrytown’s housing stock.
“I am exceptionally proud of the work that has been done on this project,” says JEDCO President & CEO Jerry Bologna. “Having desirable housing, walkable neighborhoods, and accessible amenities allows Jefferson Parish to remain a destination for business and residents. When prospective businesses consider our community, they take into account where their employees will be living. If we can continue to offer attractive, affordable, modern housing options and excellent quality of life, Jefferson Parish will remain a competitive option for new business while also retaining our current companies and residents. We look forward to where this plan will take us in the future.”
“We recognize the importance of attracting future generations here. When families choose Jefferson Parish, they are choosing to invest in our homes, in our schools, and in our tax base,” says Councilwoman-at-Large Cynthia Lee-Sheng. “That is why we partnered with so many resources and organizations to bring this particular project to life. We are using public resources to spark investment and excitement in our neighborhoods, which will have a long-term impact on our current residents, future residents, economy and community. I commend our own administrative departments, the Homebuilders Association, the Metropolitan Association of Realtors and the Jefferson Parish Finance Authority to bring this project to fruition.We look forward to the next steps of this strategic plan and providing continued support as it moves into the future.”
“This is an exciting time for District 1 and the Terrytown community,” said District 1 Councilman Ricky Templet. “As we considered locations to launch this pilot program, we recognized the deep potential for growth and investment in the Terrytown area. The neighborhood has a rich history in Jefferson Parish and an active, engaged civic association that expressed an interest in this partnership. This plan will be a catalyst for private investment and growth in the Terrytown neighborhood and eventually, throughout Jefferson Parish. In fact, the initiative is already positively impacting economic growth and development in the Terrytown area. Gulf Coast Bank & Trust recently announced plans to renovate their Terrytown branch, driving real investment dollars back into the community and championing beautification efforts along Terrytown Parkway.”
“On behalf of the Parish Administration and Parish Council, we commend the Jefferson Parish Planning Department and other valued partners on the development and initiation of this progressive plan,” said Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni. “We believe the innovative actions outlined within the Terrytown Neighborhood Revitalization Study Strategic Plan will help to retain current residents and attract new, young families to Jefferson Parish, breathing new life into all aspects of our community.”
“As early planned developments across the country are passing 50 and 60 years old, communities are looking for design solutions for revitalization without losing the scale and character so important to these neighborhoods,” said Tulane Small Center Project Manager Nick Jenisch. “It was exciting to be able to work with Terrytown residents and the entire project team to devise plans for new homes and strategies for renovations that will both respect and enhance Terrytown’s legacy of mid-century modern housing.”
“We are pleased to be the first area of Jefferson Parish on the West Bank to have a neighborhood chosen to participate in the Neighborhood Revitalization Study Pilot Program,” said Terrytown Civic Association President Hank Berchak. “Residents may justly benefit from the strategies and action items outlined within the plan. We look forward to being partners with the Parish, our elected officials and other participants as we jointly bring this plan to life in the New Year, while respecting the rights of all property owners to assure maximum attention being paid to quality of life.”
The Terrytown Civic Association, the Jefferson Parish Planning Advisory Board, and the Jefferson Parish Council each reviewed and unanimously approved the plan at various public meetings in November and December. Implementation of the recommended action items within the Terrytown Strategic Plan
will begin in early 2020 under the leadership of President-Elect Cynthia Lee-Sheng, coordinated by Jefferson Parish, JEDCO, and a wide range of partners and stakeholders named in the plan.
ABOUT JEDCO:The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) is the economic development organization for Jefferson Parish with the main objective of attracting, growing, and creating new business in the area. JEDCO’s mission is to proactively influence the economy through the retention and creation of quality jobs, entrepreneurship, and investment in Jefferson Parish. Located in the growing Churchill Technology & Business Park, JEDCO is home to a business incubator for early-stage ventures and it also operates a state-of-the-art Conference Center. For more information, visit www.jedco.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and LinkedIn
ABOUT THE JEFFERSON PARISH HOUSING STOCK ENHANCEMENT STRATEGIC PLAN:
Developed under the guidance of a Blue Ribbon Committee of professionals with diverse backgrounds, the plan confronts the Parish’s challenges and establishes a strategy to revitalize its existing housing stock, foster development of needed housing choices, and improve the quality of life in Jefferson Parish neighborhoods. Recommendations outlined in the plan are designed to assist the Parish in identifying areas to target revitalization efforts; yield improved coordination between housing programs and related initiatives, and capital improvements in targeted areas; and guide the parish in identifying both public and private funding sources for housing revitalization. The plan also recommends facilitating the development of needed housing types within the context of more walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods; and offers actions items that aim to better facilitate the use of existing housing programs by homeowners. Read plan here.
ABOUT TULANE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE ALBERT & TINA SMALL CENTER FOR COLLABORATIVE DESIGN: The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design is the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture, operating at the intersection of design and civic engagement. Small Center brings design expertise to bear in collaboration with non-profit and municipal partners, supporting residents in imagining and pursuing projects that strengthen neighborhoods and contribute to a city shaped by its residents. small.tulane.edu/