Executive Director, Broad Community Connections
Jeffrey Schwartz is a New Orleans native that went to MIT and came home with a mission – that New Orleans could make itself better. As Executive Director of Broad Community Connections, Jeffrey is focused on revitalizing the Broad Street corridor and surrounding areas. Combining economic development with community revitalization is what most excites Jeffrey about the position he plays in New Orleans’ growth and expansion.
The motivation for Broad Street Connections came about following Hurricane Katrina. It was a time when many commercial corridors needed help with revitalization and redevelopment. Broad Street provided an excellent opportunity for revitalization after coming off of four centuries of disinvestment. Through economic, residential and cultural development, the Broad Street corridor is in the midst of growth and becoming a vibrant commercial center.
As a native New Orleanian, many of Jeffrey’s happiest memories and milestones revolve around food and a special meal. Jeffrey took these memories and saw a great opportunity not only for economic growth of the Broad Street area, but also as a catalytic for a project to bring fresh food to the neighborhood. A big part of Jeffrey’s current work is the Refresh Project, an adaptive reuse project of a former Schwegmann’s grocery store into a fresh food grocer. At its heart, the Refresh Project is focused on promoting healthy food options in an area where healthy, affordable food is often difficult to obtain. This bold project will save a building, create jobs, and fill a neighborhood need.
When looking forward Jeffrey sees three things: another Super Bowl win by the New Orleans Saints, the continued development of Broad Street as a vibrant city corridor, and the City of New Orleans living to its full potential.