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I'd honestly rather something like Willow Grove but with street level retail than the giant suburban office look in the proposals. Either way, it is sort of separated from the pedestrian coorridors downtown....unless they extend the levee top park.

I think a house or townhouse with river views would be awesome....possibly some of the best housing in Baton Rouge.

I neither see a market for thousands of tiny high rise housing units on that land or for massive office buildings. I think something like Cameilla blvd in Lafayette would be far more appropriate and probably fairly successful.

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Yes. I mean you took photos of the site so take photos with mr Holden. Geez, I SAID it was a nice story.

Nice story. Not that I believe it but the pictures are a nice touch.

Waiting for the tif plea

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I can understand the attractiveness of water view property. However, unless I'm forgetting, there isn't a walkway or path from this area to downtown or even to the capital, LED, Insurance buildings, etc. right?

 

There isn't but its in the master plans. David Roher is working on it.

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Phase II of Plan BR has proposals for a green-space skywalk/overpass above River Road near the Capitol Visitor's Center to Desoto Park; that will have a promenade linking the new development.That will Connect River Park w Spanish Town & Capitol Complex.

 

By looking at the most recent rendering...nothing looks to be taller than 10 floors...that should be no problem blending in with the 8-story Claiborne Bldg nearby...technically a "high-rise" is 12+ stories. To make this project feasible they will have to go at least 6-floors(as shown)...they don't want a unit by the river...they want a view overlooking the river.

 

This should be interesting to see with the synergy of the IBM Complex; Commerce Bldg; new Hampton Inn; Cap One Bank, etc...all in the works

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On track? Only if you mean sitting there.

Thats the definition of big developments in this city these days. Proposed but not under construction.

In all seriousness though it seems as if there will be an effort from government to get done what needs to for this project to work.

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Was hoping this massive project was not just going to end up being the "underpass to nowhere". With all the ambition comes the sometimes controversial TIF's....

 

Thanks for posting Jefften :thumbsup: Would have posted this if you had not

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Holden Architects should hire a consultant to reconfigure the retail/entertainment area. They programmed the space to be a concert venue and then surrounded it with dining/retail options, but for a majority of the time the space is too large and will feel empty regardless of the number of shoppers. Spaces that feel empty deter shoppers. I think they are setting themselves up for failure and that would be very unfortunate for this particular project. 

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Developer hopes to break ground on River Park this year

 

Pete Clements says he hopes to break ground on the $600 million River Park mixed-use development downtown before the end of the year. His announcement comes a day after the Metro Council approved—for a second time—a tax increment financing district that will rebate the city's 2% sales tax collected in the district toward construction or improvements of public infrastructure. A railroad underpass, which provides access to the 50 acres on which River Park is planned next to Hollywood Casino, opened in 2011. "This has been the most difficult financing market I've experienced in my life," Clements says, explaining the delay in further developing the property. He had to seek approval for the TIF district for a second time after a deal OK'd by the council in 2011 expired recently. About $125 million in financing is being put together for the entertainment district, including a "Baton Rouge Boardwalk," restaurants, bars, and a concert facility. Under the cooperative endeavor agreement between the city and the River Park Development District, the entertainment district is part of Phase II, which also features public parking, retail, offices and a hotel. Collectively, Phase II would cost about $300 million, Clements says, adding that the identities of potential tenants are under wraps for now. Residential elements are planned for later stages of the $600 million development. The CEA lays out timelines over the next two decades for each phase of the project. —David Jacobs

 

http://www.businessreport.com/section/daily-reportPM

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Tenant mix coming together for River Park, developer says

 

The financing and tenant mix are coming together for the entertainment district of the planned $600 million River Park mixed-use development, according to a brief presentation to the DDD Commission meeting this morning. "We have been through due diligence," says developer Pete Clements. "The structure has been set for the financing. We have two very good parties that have come together to make this work." Closing and groundbreaking could happen before the end of the year, he says. The project is at 75% of "initial occupancy," in terms of businesses that will be in place when the entertainment district opens, according to the presentation. The district will be built around a "Baton Rouge Boardwalk" and include an "Asian fusion restaurant," a steakhouse, a beer garden, an "artisan pizza concept," a "dueling piano bar," a blues club, an "upscale Southern comfort restaurant," a "Euro-American bistro," a "contemporary American restaurant and lounge," a "Spanish tapas restaurant," and a Mexican restaurant, according to the presentation. A joint venture has been signed with "several different professional entertainment groups" to operate and provide talent for a 1,500-seat indoor theater and a 40,000-square-foot outdoor public concert facility. Between the two venues, 168 annual events are planned. Clements previously has said about $125 million is needed to finance the entertainment district. —David Jacobs

 

Businessreport.com

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I honestly think this land will sit empty for decades or be a complete failure like Catfish Town. At least Catfish Town is within the grid of downtown and not completely separated (sans the bike path).

 

 

I think you're right, but Catfish Town was a failure for very different reasons. It opened during poor economic times, people were still fleeing to the suburbs, and it suffered from a poor design for retail (A more detailed analysis can be found in the in the downtown master plan phase one).

 

River Park also suffers from a poor retail design, IMO. I also agree that its lack of connectivity and isolated single-use style will ultimately lead to its demise. Clements has basically proposed "Downtown Disney" next to a REAL FUNCTIONING DOWNTOWN. Perkins Rowe would be a better style of development for that particular site IMO.  

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I think you're right, but Catfish Town was a failure for very different reasons. It opened during poor economic times, people were still fleeing to the suburbs, and it suffered from a poor design for retail (A more detailed analysis can be found in the in the downtown master plan phase one).

 

River Park also suffers from a poor retail design, IMO. I also agree that its lack of connectivity and isolated single-use style will ultimately lead to its demise. Clements has basically proposed "Downtown Disney" next to a REAL FUNCTIONING DOWNTOWN. Perkins Rowe would be a better style of development for that particular site IMO.  

I don't remember when it was open. I wasn't around then but I do know it opened at the wrong time, not to mention the wrong place, financially. I remember going to eat there years ago and always wondered why it looked like a hotel. I think there is potential in that space now.

 

That particular site would be good for a resort style hotel and riverfront park with a restaurant but not another faux-borhood.

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I honestly think this land will sit empty for decades or be a complete failure like Catfish Town. At least Catfish Town is within the grid of downtown and not completely separated (sans the bike path).

I think you are right....but in the defense of Catfish Town, oil was near record lows and the gulf coast economy was a dumpster fire at that time.

I'd like to see Catfish Town redeveloped, honestly. It won't happen with such a crappy casino near it.

Edited by cajun
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Didn't this developer actually serve time in jail for tax evasion?

He clearly has an interesting vision, and I think his timing is great, but I have my doubts given the scope and size of the development. It will undoubtedly have to come in numerous phases stretched over a decade or more.

The TIF designation kind of alleviates some of my skepticism. If there was ever a time to invest in Baton Rouge, it's now.

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