The Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA), a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, was created in 2003 to assist the City of Alexandria with economic development efforts, renovation, restoration and fostering tourism. GAEDA’s mission is “to be a visionary leader and catalyst to promote economic development creating a better quality of life for Alexandria’s citizens.”
Clifford J. Moller has served as the Executive Director of GAEDA since December 2004. Mr. Moller was the first person hired by the newly formed entity and has been responsible for guiding the organization since its inception. He continues to provide vision and direction to assure the effective and efficient operation of the organization under the leadership of the GAEDA board members that are appointed by the City Council of Alexandria, LA. Mr. Moller represents the authority to local, state, and federal agencies, and community groups; he exchanges information, coordinates operations, provides technical advice, and promotes GAEDA’s services.
GAEDA has initiated partnerships with local stakeholders, government and private partners such as the Alexandria/Pineville Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB), the River Oaks Square Art Center, the Alexandria Museum of Arts and many other Cultural Arts District organizations. The goal of the alliances is to assist with attracting events and implementing programs that enhance the quality of life for our residents and to attract visitors from beyond our region.
In 2005, the Executive Director took the initiative to identify a commercial corridor infrastructure project in the City of Alexandria; the project was the Masonic Drive Revitalization. Since the project’s commencement the Corridor has become a more vibrant and safe area for residents and visitors. The last developmental phase of the project will begin in 2019.
GAEDA also initiated and provided seed funding to start the GAEDA Revitalization Corporation (GRC), a nonprofit organization that seeks to expand and improve affordable housing, land stewardship and commercial corridor revitalization in the city of Alexandria, Louisiana.
The nonprofit officially launched in May 2017 with the mission of increasing the availability of affordable housing in Alexandria’s inner-city areas.
GAEDA continues to proactively interact with stakeholders such as the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA) to provide “gap” funding as an incentive for businesses to relocate or be established in our city.
This past year GAEDA has pivoted in its mission objectives and direction. The hotel motel industry in Alexandria is the revenue stream for the organization. The Executive Director has made the argument, with his Board’s support, that more effort and resources ought to be directed towards attracting events that provide more room nights to our hotels. This effort will increase the revenues of the hotel industry and the revenue of the GAEDA organization.