Broad Street Has Been Reborn

15:00 April 06, 2016
By: James Sebastien

Broad Street has endured decades of abuse-- scarred with track marks, neglected, passed over time and again by businesses and citizens in favor of Carrollton Avenue and Magazine Street.  But, in recent years Broad Street’s pulse has been revived, with the opening of a Whole Foods Market and the creation of the Lafitte Greenway.  Broad Street received another shot of adrenaline earlier this March when the Broad Theater opened.  Air is once again flowing through the iconic street’s lungs.

The success of this endeavor is due in no small part to the tireless work of the non-profit Broad Community Connections.  Their executive director, native New Orleanian Jeffrey Schwartz, is quick to trumpet BCC’s devotion to Broad as a whole: “We also love the older standbys and classics like Crescent City Steaks, Community Book Center, Coco Hut, Domino Sounds Records Shack, the many amazing barber shops like Headquarters and the GodBarber, Glenda's Dis and Dat, F&F Botanica and Candle Shop, the great car businesses like Calamari Trim Shop, Delta World Tire, Santos Automotive, Del Cid, and many others.  I love them all!”

The BCC’s first passion project-- their “labor of love,” as Schwartz phrased it, was The ReFresh Project (the building that houses the Whole Foods Market).  They boast The ReFresh Project as an “innovative fresh food hub,” with additional tenants such as Liberty’s Kitchen (who is dedicated to helping at-risk youths in a culinary setting) and the Crescent City Community Land Trust who works in partnership with SPROUT NOLA, Harambee Gardens of New Orleans, and Faubourg Farms.

The BCC is also involved in the beautification of Broad Street through “streetscape enhancements.”  They are collaborating with the Art Council of New Orleans to raise funds for vibrant, luminescent signs that will garnish local businesses.  And for all the green lovers out there, you can show your support too by donating to the BCC’s 100 Trees on Broad and Bayou Road Project at broadcommunityconnections.org/projects/100-trees-on-broad-and-bayou-road.

As for what’s next for the BCC, their new labor of love is the Bayou Treme Center, a shared venture with the Rose Community Development Corporation and Alembic Community Development.  The center will cater and nourish the local arts via a venue for live music, theater and films.  The center will also offer affordable studio spaces for local artists.

With the coming sounds of new combined with the blood and pain of the old, I feel that it’s safe to say, Broad Street has been reborn.

 

 

 

 

 

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