Smiley Heights project takes next step: residents excited

Photo provided by staff
Friday, September 20, 2013 - 6:34am

In the heart of Baton Rouge something new is in the works. Thursday, people got a sneak peak at the Smiley Heights project. After 4 days of planning and community input, the preliminary drawings and renderings for what it could look like were unveiled.

"This is a big improvement over what they were going to do before," said mid city resident, Berlin Pekrins.

Berlin Perkins owns land in the area of the Smiley Heights projected site and he says he's ready for this project; anything is better than what was planned years ago.

“We had a scare after Katrina,” noted Perkins. “We heard FEMA was going to use that same property for a trailer park."

Now, he's excited for those dollar signs he sees in the near future.

“We hope it will increase property values," he stated.

One of the principle architects for the project says there is simply one thing that will really drive people to the area.

“Education drives real estate sales,” said Architects Southwest Principal, Steven Oubre.

As they keep soaking up the opinions and ideas of the public, their plan nears completion.

“We have about 12 different scenes and now were consolidating the best ideas,” said Oubre. “We’re beginning to envision this 3 dimensionally.”

And residents like Perkins say, he did come in with some concern but now his worries have flown out the window.

"So far I am very impressed with all the people involved."

The planning committee will be showing the full plans and drawings next Thursday at the BREC headquarters.

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