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Planned High-Profile Projects


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Was not sure whether to start a new thread... or put this in the Recession thread...The building boom was fun while it lasted..the BR Forums here on UP really took off too; with activity in a lull; much anticipation still hopeful for some of these projects during the new year !

What’s up with that?

When the lending markets froze up in mid-2008 a lot of high-profile projects that had been planned and publicized came to a standstill.

Nearly 18 months later, a few finally are getting back on track. Most, however, remain on hold indefinitely. Not only does financing continue to be a problem, but demand is soft for residential and commercial projects. Some developers say they’re hoping that by mid-2010 market conditions will have improved to the point they can start talking about breaking ground. But others suggest that’s a best-case scenario.

In the meantime, many developers are going back to the drawing board, redesigning their projects to reflect changing market conditions and trying to figure out how to make their numbers make sense.

Acadian Village

Developer: Commercial Properties Realty Trust

Type: Mixed-use development

Location: Perkins Road at South Acadian Thruway

*STATUS* Commercial Properties continues to negotiate with several undisclosed tenants to locate in the planned 104,000-square-foot development, which would include retailers, restaurants [Acme Oyster House opened last year] and rental units at the site of the former Walmart. Citing uncertainty in the market, however, the firm has no date to begin construction.




Developer: Old Towne Development [John Enquist, Patrick Campesi and Michael Campesi]

Type: Traditional neighborhood development

Location: La. Highway 64, Zachary

*STATUS* This development has been at the center of a tangled web of lawsuits between the three local developers and their former partner, J. David Matthews, a Georgia businessman who originally conceived the project. After 18 months of court battles, including an involuntary bankruptcy filing, the local partners have bought the property out of bankruptcy and are planning to resume development when the housing market improves. In the meantime, they’re modifying original plans to make it more appropriate for the market. No date for the start of construction has been set.


The Brownstones

Developer: Commercial Properties Realty Trust

Type: Downtown residential development

Location: Laurel and Fifth streets

*STATUS* When it was announced in mid-2007, The Brownstones promised to bring affordable living to downtown Baton Rouge, with more than 70 New York-style rental units. But the $15 million project never got off the ground and remains indefinitely on hold. A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which owns Commercial Properties Realty Trust, says the firm is “negotiating some other possibilities for the project” but would not elaborate.


The Grove at Picardy

Developer: Richard Carmouche

Type: High-density commercial

Location: Interstate 10 at Mall of Louisiana Boulevard

*STATUS* Plans for this 130-acre development, which Carmouche likens to Towne Center at Cedar Lodge, currently are being reworked to reflect changing market conditions. That means less density. But construction is indefinitely on hold, and no target date has been set for a groundbreaking. Original plans for The Grove called for a combination of retail, restaurants, residential and office space.


Hilton Garden Inn

Developer: Tommy Spinosa

Type: Hotel

Location: Perkins Rowe

*STATUS* When plans for the 165-room Hilton Garden Inn were announced earlier this year, late 2009 was the anticipated start of construction. Since then, however, a group of lenders has filed foreclosure proceedings against Perkins Rowe and no visible work has begun on the hotel, which would be located in front of the parking garage adjacent to The NeuroMedical Center. A spokesman for Spinosa’s company, JTS, declined to comment on the status of the project.


Hotel Indigo

Developer: Cyntreniks

Type: Downtown boutique hotel

Location: Convention at Laurel streets

*STATUS* (STARTED)Construction on Baton Rouge’s first boutique hotel was scheduled to begin in mid-November. Financing is in place, and Cyntreniks says all systems are go for work to begin(H on the 93-room Indigo, which will be a part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group’s new, increasingly popular chain. The total cost of the project, located on the site of the former King Hotel, is $26 million, with an estimated completion date of late 2010.


Juban Crossing

Developer: Juban Crossing

Type: Mixed-use development

Location: Interstate 12 at Juban Road, Denham Springs

*STATUS* Developers hope to begin clearing the site for this $500 million project by the end of the year, and are targeting mid-2010 to begin construction. Plans for the 471-acre development call for retail, office, hotels and residential, as well as a state-of-the-art movie theater, amphitheater and restaurants


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Knock Knock Children’s Museum

Developer: BREC

Type: Tourist attraction

Location: City Park

*STATUS* In the works for more than three years, the children’s museum is hoping finally to kick off its $15 million capital campaign early next year, but so far no target date has been set and construction plans hinge on the success of fundraising efforts.


La Vie

Developer: R.W. Day

Type: Film-studio complex with residential and retail components

Location: O’Neal Lane, Nicholson Drive and a third, undisclosed site

*STATUS* This $1 billion project remains tied up in litigation. At issue is the date by which Day has to make expenditures on the project in order to qualify for the state infrastructure tax credits to which he says he is entitled. A decision currently is pending in the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, Day is moving forward with some aspects the project, which—as currently envisioned—will be constructed at three sites around the city. *Currently, construction is under way on preproduction and postproduction facilities at Day’s Southgate complex on Nicholson Drive, as well as offices and editing suites. A 117-unit Staybridge Suites also has been completed. The film studio, which will be built on O’Neal Lane, is moving forward, but “within the realm of what we can accomplish until we resolve these legal issues,” Day says.


Madison Square

Developer: Rick Cappo

Type: Multi-family residential

Location: Lobdell Avenue at Goodwood Boulevard

*STATUS* This project, formerly called Madison Park, originally was designed as a condominium development. It now has a new name and a new plan and is being developed as 43 townhomes. Construction on the first four-unit townhouse is schedule to begin before the end of the year. So far, none of the units is presold.


Marriott Renaissance Hotel

Developer: Wampold Companies

Type: Upscale convention hotel

Location: Bluebonnet Boulevard at Anselmo Lane

*STATUS* Plans for the hotel have been scaled down, and developer Mike Wampold hopes to have a preliminary redesign completed before the end of the year. Originally conceived as a 316-room, $75 million project, it’s now envisioned as a 260-room hotel in the $50 million range. Wampold says the hotel still will be high end, with meeting spaces, a ballroom and restaurant. He plans to begin pricing the redesigned hotel early next year and, depending on financing, could start construction by mid-year.


Pinnacle casino resort

Developer: Pinnacle Entertainment

Type: Casino resort

Location: River Road at Gardere Lane

*STATUS* Pinnacle says it’s moving forward with plans for its $250 million casino and 150-room hotel, and is currently securing its financing. The project is more than a year behind schedule because of the turmoil in financial markets, but the state’s gaming board recently gave the Las Vegas-based company an extension until March 31, and likely will grant another if market conditions have not improved by then. Company officials say they’re hoping to start construction by the middle of next year, though no target date has been set.


River District

Developer: Moreno Properties

Type: Mixed-use development

Location: Nicholson Drive, between downtown and LSU

*STATUS* Construction on the first phase of this 22-acre development is scheduled to begin in January. So far, about half the properties in Nicholson Drive Estates have been demolished to make way for the first phase—multi-family residences. Other project details are expected to be released by the end of the year; possibilities include a grocery store, hotel and office space. The development is targeting young professionals and LSU employees and faculty members


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River House

Developer: Continental Realty Group

Type: Mixed-use development

Location: Nicholson Drive, between downtown and LSU

Status: The 8.3-acre project, which will be built on the former Prince Murat Inn site, received approval from the planning commission earlier this year. As approved, the development would include 224 apartment units, 30,000 square feet of office space and 16,000 square feet of retail space. Construction was scheduled to start this fall, though no dirt has yet been turned.

*4-story Condo/apts. not shown...


River Park

Developer: Pete Clements

Type: Mixed-use development

Location: River Road

*STATUS* Ground has been broken on a four-lane underpass that will run beneath the Canadian National Railroad track and connect downtown to the 36-acre site. Earlier this year, Clements said several national businesses were interested in starting projects in the area, but most would hold off until the underpass had been completed. The plan for the potentially $600 million investment includes 800 to 1,200 condominium units; 250,000 square feet of neighborhood retail [grocery, pharmacy and dry cleaning] and destination retail [clothing, accessories, restaurants and entertainment]; 640,000 square feet of office space; 280-room flag hotel; 220-room suite hotel; meeting, convention and exhibition space; and 6,000 residential and commercial parking spaces.


*Taken about 6 weeks ago...


River Place

Developer: Richard Preis

Type: Downtown multi-family residential

Location: Main Street at River Road

*STATUS* Groundbreaking for this high-end downtown high rise was scheduled for fall 2005, but Hurricane Katrina sent construction costs skyrocketing and sent Preis back to the drawing board. His revised plans were upended when financial markets crashed in 2008. Preis now is working on another concept for River Place and hopes to unveil it in early 2010. Though he won’t divulge any details, Preis says new plans for his development call for accommodating both the middle- and upper-end market and scaling down the building’s height by several floors.



Developer: Riverview Development

Type: TND

Location: La. Highway 1, Port Allen

*STATUS* The design work for this 250-acre TND is completed, but the project is currently on hold until the economy improves and financing is more readily available. Initial plans for the project called for 50 acres of parks, an open-air farmers’ market, bike paths and a fire station, with more than 600 homes ranging from $200,000 to more than $1 million.



Developer: Tommy Spinosa

Type: TND

Location: Perkins Road

*STATUS* The planning commission earlier this month gave Spinosa the green light to move forward with at least two phases of this controversial TND—a public library and a three-story apartment complex. It’s unclear, however, if and when construction will begin. Though Spinosa publicly has said he is moving forward with construction, no permits have been filed. He also has refused to answer questions about financing for the project, and whether foreclosure proceedings against his Perkins Rowe development and also a series of lawsuits and liens filed against his construction company over a development in St. Tammany Parish will have any bearing on the Southdowns project. Spinosa did not return calls for comment about Rouzan, and a company official said he could not discuss the project.


Spatz Development

Developer: Spatz Development of Chicago

Type: Office building

Location: Summa Avenue at Essen Lane

*STATUS* The pilings and permits are in place, but plans for this office building are indefinitely on hold. Originally designed as an eight-story, 90,000-square-foot Class A office building, it was scaled down to three stories and 60,000 square feet. Spatz Development hasn’t been able to find a tenant that wants more than 50% of the building. Says developer Bill Spatz: “We’re looking at any and all possibilities.”


Village at Magnolia Square

Developer: Nunnally Pollard Development

Type: TND

Location: Lovett Road, Central

*STATUS* Construction began on the first six houses at Magnolia Square in late October, just a few months behind schedule. Nine lots have presold in the 185-acre TND, and developer Jimmy Nunnally hopes to have all 79 residential lots in the first phase completed within 18 months. The development also is close to entering into agreements with a restaurant and a coffee shop/bookstore, which will be the first two tenants in the 65,000-square-foot commercial part of the development



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