Proposed name change to GSRI Avenue fails, stirs up mixed feelings

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 7:00pm

A proposed name change to one of Baton Rouge's main streets has failed, but the feelings about the name change to GSRI Avenue are mixed. Those in favor of the change told us the name change to Innovation Park Drive would drive up businesses.

Steve Oivanki, with the Gulf South Research Corporation, says changing the name of the street where his company is located would be difficult for the company. GSRI Avenue, named after the Gulf South Research Institute, holds a lot of history for the GSRC company, an off shoot of the GSRI company.

"We’re located on GSRI Avenue because we are a direct descendent, we have name recognition, it's part of our legacy. We get a lot of work because of who we are, where we are. To change the name would take away a big part of our marketing and heritage," Oivanki explained.

The name switch is being pushed by several businesses along the stretch of road who believe it will foster economic growth. Residents who live on GSRI Avenue have said they too could get behind a name change.

"Personally I think it's a pretty good idea to change the name. They did a lot of work on the road and everything, repairing it. We need a change around here," Carlo Nicholes, an area resident, added.

Other businesses along the winding GSRI Avenue are pushing for the street to be re-christened to foster economic growth in the area. For Oivanki and his team, a name change seems unwarranted and pricey.

"It would cost us $81,000. That number comes from replacing all of our cards and then the cost of staff time to do all that, it all adds up. Plus our letterhead, mailing envelopes, stuff like that," Oivanki explained.

The item can be brought back to the metro-city council for reconsideration in the future.
 

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