JEDCO Releases Recommendations To Redevelop Stretch Of Jefferson Highway Corridor

FAIRFIELD, LA – As Ochsner unveiled plans for a major expansion of its Jefferson Highway campus yesterday, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) simultaneously released findings of a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) to redevelop a portion of the Jefferson Highway corridor.

         The recommendations were developed through a Technical Assistance Panel facilitated by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Louisiana to ignite economic development, promote regional and local connectivity, and enhance a world -class brand, as Ochsner expands its footprint along Jefferson Highway.

         Through discussions with Ochsner, JEDCO identified an opportunity to revitalize the Jefferson Plaza Shopping Center, a historically underutilized site. These discussions served as a catalyst to transform the Jefferson Highway corridor from Causeway Boulevard to the Jefferson Parish line. JEDCO, Ochsner Health System, and ULI Louisiana gathered a Technical Assistance Panel of experts from across the country to study the best possible use for the corridor. Over a two-day period, the panel toured the study area and interviewed stakeholders to develop a plan that meets the needs of Ochsner employees, patients, business owners, and residents.

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         The TAP recommended the development of a walkable town center concept with world-class destination health care at its core. The development of a vibrant, mixed-use town center will place an increased focus on connectivity and sustainability. This will call for increased transportation options, beautification efforts, green space, and additional housing options. The town center concept would address the needs of Ochsner's patients, scholars, the local community and Jefferson Parish while serving the dual purpose of attracting top talent into the community.

         The health care industry has become a focus of the Jefferson EDGE 2020, the long-term economic development strategy to promote sustainability, job growth and investment in Jefferson Parish. The plan allows JEDCO to dedicate resources toward developing a coordinated brand around the region's medical infrastructure and attracting medical professionals to Jefferson Parish. Another EDGE initiative calls for the development of a façade improvement program to encourage property owners along Jefferson Highway to invest in updating their businesses.

         "The Jefferson EDGE 2020 was completed in late 2015, and yet we're already seeing incredible progress being made in the health care industry,” said Jerry Bologna, JEDCO Executive Director. “Participating in the TAP process created an opportunity to incorporate Ochsner's vision into the vision of the Jefferson EDGE 2020 in a way that better serves the community. The TAP recommendations, along with the creation of a façade improvement program, are just a few ways that we are looking to improve the area for the benefit of the local businesses and the neighborhoods along Jefferson Highway. JEDCO is appreciative of Ochsner's investment into Jefferson Parish and we look forward to remaining a dedicated partner as the health care system moves forward with its expansion plans."

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         "ULI Louisiana is proud to take part in a project of this magnitude," said Steven Massicot, ULI Louisiana Chair. "The town center approach outlined in the TAP report provides an enormous benefit to Ochsner, JEDCO, and the community while creating a culturally exciting destination for those individuals who are coming to Jefferson Parish from around the world. We are excited to see this plan implemented in Jefferson Parish and we look forward to the progress being made along the Jefferson Highway corridor."

         JEDCO reps said Ochsner Health System's expansion along the Jefferson Highway corridor will create jobs and investment in Jefferson Parish. By 2018, Ochsner plans to invest nearly $360 million along the healthcare corridor to add seven floors to the Ochsner Medical Center's West Tower, double the space of the current Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center, and create a larger Outpatient Imaging Center on the North Campus.

         Ochsner will also establish the West Campus on an 8-acre site that includes the Jefferson Plaza Shopping Center. The West Campus will become home to the Ochsner Rehabilitation Hospital and an Ochsner Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy Clinic. Construction and operation of these new facilities are expected to create more than 3,500 jobs in Jefferson Parish.

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         "The expansion of Ochsner Medical Center is going to be a significant advantage to the people of Jefferson Parish and this Region," said Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni. "Ochsner is developing a world class facility that will not only raise the bar of health care, but will also improve the Jefferson Highway corridor, much like Zephyr Stadium and the Saints Facility improved Airline Dr. We are very proud and excited to be the home parish for such a major medical institution."

         "The increasing number of patients transferred from facilities within and outside of the Ochsner system along with the expansion of the Ochsner Health Network, underline the growing demand for the specialty care offered here at Ochsner Medical Center," said Warner Thomas, CEO and President of Ochsner Health System. "We are building on our legacy as a national and global destination for healthcare for the Greater New Orleans Region and the Gulf South. The next chapter is to create a more comprehensive Healthcare Corridor, anchored by Ochsner Medical Center, so we can continue to change and save more lives."

         "Patients choose Ochsner for the peace of mind that comes with receiving care at one of the nation's leading healthcare destinations," said Don Pierson, LED Secretary. "As a state, we support the growth of healthcare organizations like Ochsner that expand our reach and our quality of life at the same time. We are proud to acknowledge Ochsner and its continued commitment to best-in-class healthcare services that help Louisiana attract and keep strong businesses and talent."

         "The work to build out a healthcare corridor along Jefferson Highway will have a significant economic impact on Jefferson Parish for many years," said Councilman Paul Johnston.

         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.


         Read the TAP Report here



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