Mark Goodson, who has been with the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority since the organization’s founding, said he is leaving his position as executive vice president and chief operating officer to work in the private sector.
Goodson said his last day with the RDA will be Jan. 29. He will join the Baton Rouge offices of CB&I to fill a new position with the company, said Walter Monsour, chief executive officer of the Redevelopment Authority.
Goodson’s duties will be divided among Monsour and other staffers on a short-term basis. The Redevelopment Authority is seeking dedicated funding for the organization. Monsour said he will meet sometime in the next few weeks with Mayor-President Kip Holden to discuss establishing a dedicated revenue stream for the agency.
Once permanent funding is assured, Monsour said he will then look at hiring a replacement for Goodson and filling other positions at the agency.
“I’m thankful to Walter and the RDA board, and I’m proud of everything we were able to accomplish together,” Goodson said. “I hope I’ll be able to stay involved with the RDA even in my new capacity.”
Goodson was the first employee Monsour hired for the authority in 2009, bringing him over from the Downtown Development District. But his involvement with the organization goes back even further.
When Goodson was working as a planner for the Center for Planning Excellence, he was involved in writing the legislation that created the authority.
During the Redevelopment Authority’s initial years of operation, the organization has been able to support $200 million in redevelopment projects that will have a significant impact on Baton Rouge.
“The RDA is poised to do really great things,” Goodson said.
He pointed to the Ardendale mixed-use development and the recent acquisition of Entergy’s former Government Street site as “seminal projects” for Baton Rouge. Construction is set to begin this year on Ardendale, a Mid City community that eventually will include 850 residential units, 35,000 square feet of retail space, Baton Rouge Community College’s Center for Excellence in Auto Technology and the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board’s Career Academy. While acting as developer for Ardendale, the Redevelopment Authority will determine the best use for the 6-acre Entergy property. The land has a variety of potential uses, including loft-style apartments, affordable housing, retail, warehouses and as a station for a future passenger rail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Monsour said he “selfishly” hates to see Goodson leave.
“Mark has been an absolute dream of an employee, with his expertise, knowledge of the field, personal integrity and work ethic,” Monsour said. “But you need to support somebody like that when they see a better path to take.”