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DDD releases 2014 budget and work plan

NEW ORLEANS - The Downtown Development District's Director of Finance and Administration will be pitching the group's plan on how to make downtown even better. The presentation will be Tuesday before the New Orleans City Council.

Carter said the No. 1 goal for 2014 is to bring more retail to Canal Street.

"It's important that we eliminate the slippage of our tax dollars going to outside of the city," said Carter.

Here are the specific objectives the DDD wants to tackle next year with it's estimated $6 million budget:

Public Space Operations Objectives 2014:

  • Continue to target CQI [Continuous Quality Improvements] reduction in gum spots and cigarette butts by 10% from the previous year.
  • Develop plan and budget for replacing the DDD way finding signage and adopt the plan in the 2015 budget.
  • Initiate a planning effort to create more open/green space areas Downtown. Work with the appropriate agencies and organizations to solicit support and future funding for the open space plan. Identify one parcel/project and develop preliminary plans and budget for approval by the appropriate agencies.
  • Plant 20-25 new trees Downtown. Eliminate back log of tree planting request.
  • Work with the City administration to revise the curbside trash collection ordinance and establish a baseline of illegal roll carts on City sidewalks. Develop plan to reduce the number of roll carts and improve permitting of garbage storage areas for Downtown businesses.
  • Award four (4) sidewalk improvement grants to Downtown property owners to upgrade City sidewalks.
  • Secure sponsorship funding for private property graffiti removal program in cooperation with the Communications Department.
  • Evaluate current banner system locations and complete expansion plans by adding hardware to underutilized streets. Reinstitute banner program on Loyola with RTA.

Public Safety Objectives 2014

  • Fully implement the City's new policy & procedures related to the management of DDD police details. Assist NOPD in reducing the crime rate (adjusted for homicide & rape) in the DDD by 2%.
  • Fully implement the Downtown/Home partnership and DDD's homeless outreach program. Develop outreach case files for 50 homeless individuals. Advocate to expand CRRC hours to 24 per day.
  • Increase Rangers' interaction with DDD stakeholders by participating in neighborhood and community meetings and events on a monthly basis including the Warehouse District Security group, FQMD Security Task Force, Lafayette Square Neighborhood Forum, and Night Out Against Crime.
  • Collaborate with Hotel & Lodging Association and CVB to develop a public awareness campaign to stop the increase in simple robbery and theft of items such as cell phones.
  • Implement an initiative to improve the contact information of cameras located on private property that are identified in the Safecams8 program.
  • Provide bike certification training to at least six Rangers and implement daily bike patrols.
  • Improve enforcement of quality of life crimes by increasing the # of citations issued by DDD detail officers by 10%. Continue to target QOL [Quality of Life] issues such as riding on sidewalks, aggressive panhandling, lewd conduct, and graffiti.
  • Collaborate with the City attorney's office and Municipal Court to more effectively prosecute QOL crimes. Target a 20% success rate in prosecuting QOL [Quality of Life] crimes enforced by DDD detail officers.
  • Implement process to review and permit sidewalk signs in cooperation with DPW in order to bring signage into compliance with city codes.

Economic Development Objectives 2014

  • Secure commitment and assist private developers for the South Rampart Street Entertainment District development.
  • Secure binding commitments from three new high-profile retail tenants to locate along Canal Street consistent with the Canal Street Development Strategy.
  • Continue to work with HRI, RTA and the City of New Orleans on the redevelopment of Upper Canal Street to ensure that Iberville enhances the quality of life in the District, including transit-oriented features.
  • Continue the revitalization of the Canal Street Theater District with a focus on the Loew's State Palace and Orpheum Theatres to complement the Saenger, Civic and Joy Theaters.
  • Create an Economic Development Investment Fund of five to ten million dollars of primarily private capital to facilitate enhanced retail tenancy along Canal Street and in other key targeted locations in Downtown.
  • Finish the process to return the Louisiana Artworks Building to commerce, assisting the City in developing a new and sustainable use for the property, alleviating the City's financial burden.
  • In concert with the City, develop a viable strategy for the redevelopment of Old Charity Hospital into an attractive, adaptive-reuse facility, preserving the architectural and cultural importance of this asset.
  • Develop a plan and strategy for and continue with Harrah's management to jointly promote the retail redevelopment opportunity at the second floor of Harrah's Casino.
  • Work with City to facilitate redevelopment of the critical World Trade Center site to optimize the long-term value of the site to the City, both fiscally and as a gathering place for residents and visitors.
  • Sponsor DDD signature Arts-Business Challenge during Entrepreneur Week 2014 with the Idea Village showcasing Downtown as the place to be for the Industries of the Mind.
  • Continue regular calling program to existing businesses within Downtown to express appreciation for what they do and to solicit their suggestions on what would make the District better, documenting results and follow up. Goal is to contact forty businesses per month.
  • Cosponsor SXSW DDD/Launchpad Event to sustain existing efforts and initiate new efforts, directly and in collaboration with others, to attract digital media, film, music and other creative businesses and entrepreneurs to the District. Goal is to generate five new investor leads and five new business recruitment leads with two successful recruitments in each.
  • Continue to administer Façade Improvement Program at the annual funding level of $130,000.
  • Promote andfacilitate a project to consolidate small buildings on Canal Street toredevelop second floor spaces for residential use. 
  • Continue to publishappropriate Economic Activity metrics such as economic investment(development), cultural district statistics, jobs, rental and occupancy rates,residential growth, etc.


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