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richyb83

Old EBRATS Site

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The old East Baton Rouge Arts & Technology School on North Blvd property has been mentioned many times previously...thought it deserved it's own thread a while back with it's being in a prime location..now with the new Courthouse next-door set to open in August or September..could this become a parking garage.. no doubt more parking is badly needed in the area with with the library renovation/ new Town Square..I was hoping more for the property.

Court looks at buying EBRATS property for parking

The 19th Judicial District Court is looking at buying the empty EBRATS building on North Boulevard and turning it into parking for the new courthouse under construction. "We're exploring the possibility," says Judge Janice Clark, who heads the courthouse building commission. Clark says the court would like to have retail space on the first floor, like many of the state-owned parking garages downtown. "We're looking toward a joint venture with other government entities," she says. "But nothing is finalized, and a lot can get changed before the contracts." Clark says buying the EBRATS building was always on the court's radar screen because parking is such an issue downtown. "We had thought about putting a parking facility in the municipal building site," she says. The target building has been vacant since 2006, when EBRATS closed. Downtown property owner Bob Dean bought the building a year later. Recently, a sign has been posted on the building, saying the property was under contract. The Legislature passed a bill in 2007 to set up a tax increment financing district at the EBRATS site. Clark says she doesn't know how the TIF will work if the building is a government-owned parking facility.

http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/2010/jun/15/1677/

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Bryde had a nice suggestion for the property a good while back...to turn the EBRATS building into lofts on the upper floors and retail at street level. Others said a hotel...the old building looks like it would probably be razed; attracting Class B office space at best. The downtown library is staying at the same location..so that possibility is out as well...

Here's an old pic of the building

feb07010.jpg

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I'd rather see a parking garage at a location not fronting on North Blvd.

A hotel would be ideal for this location....river center, 3rd street near by and all.

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^^ That's what I was thinking! They could at least have put up a small attractive office building rather than a large ominous parking garage.

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This building would take some heavy surgery to be usable as either a hotel or multifamily residential (apartment or condo). The fenestration just doesn't make it desirable for too many other uses; it probably wasn't ideal even as a school. I'd say the chances are strong that this will be razed.

Now if it does become a parking garage, is there a plan to keep the building envelope and gut the thing? If so, they might be able to pull off first floor retail, though it will probably be hard to attract tenants--that side of North Boulevard is sort of a dead zone for storefronts at this point.

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Thanks for the replies yall :thumbsup: A couple years ago there was mention of possibly adding a few floors to the old Municipal bldg...since that won't happen..they could raze it..and build the parking garage at that location instead...and move those offices to the EBRATS site...maybe once North Blvd Town Square is completed..some storefronts may emerge in that dead zone and work...

Yall are right..North Blvd deserves better than an ugly parking garage! I'm thinking the EBRATS bldg gets razed too...but really like that clock; would miss that..

This is a cool website with neat write up on the abandoned EBRATS bldg

http://abandonedbatonrouge.typepad.com/abandoned_baton_rouge/2008/02/downtown--youll.html

Edited by richyb83

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What is the old Municipal building, the one with the orange bricks?

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Had to dig into the old pic vault...as the new Courthouse construction had started...

The old Municipal bldg is the ugly 4-story building on the right...the old EBRATS bldg (left)

7608010.jpg

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From yesterday's Plan BR Post....Preservation commission recommends downtown building for historic status

 

Wanted to wake this thread up that's been dormant well over 3 years....Pic also on above POST #2...

 

Had to think about the old  "BR Savings & Loan Bldg...but then saw 400 North Blvd...it was more recently the EBRATS Bldg...this sure would be nice for something to happen...as of now it's an "eye sore" for the North Blvd Town Square...by naming this "historical" do they get some special Tax Credits?? Seems like that's the way anything works anymore...

 

Here is another pic

60mb.jpg

 

Plan BR Thread could easily be BR's Largest thread...but it's been broke down into so many "different topics" such as North Blvd Town Square; Riverfront Plan; Arts & Entertainment District; Capitol Complex; Old Advocate site; Commerce Bldg; new Courthouse; II City Plaza; Hilton Capital House; Hotel King(Indigo); etc......it gets tricky

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I think if the windows were all connected and flush with the walls it wouldn't be quite so ugly. And painted a different color.

Edited by dan326

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That's one of the ugliest buildings downtown and would take significant funding to restore...and it will likely sill be functionally obsolete. It could look decent with some serious work though.

Making it a historic site will only help remodel that building. That's a prime piece of real estate that could be so much more than that.

I really wanted to see a higher end hotel there.

Edited by cajun
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It's an ugly box. Looks like a condemned department store.....or Middleton library's ugly little sister.

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It's a great building, it should be restored.

You are like the PCmatic commercials with the repetition.

Why is this ugly box worthy of saving? The only way this thing doesn't stand out in that neighborhood is if the design is changed so dramatically that it barely resembles what it is today.

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I agree with Cajun. It would take serious money to turn this building around. I'd rather see new construction.

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I don't really feel like going on about this, but mid century architecture should also be preserved, just as much as earlier time periods (and current for that matter). 

 

The same arguments that were used to abandoned Charity Hospital in favor of a new hospital complex, are now being used to relocate NOLA city hall from a beautiful mid century building, into Charity Hospital, a building that was previous considered unsalvageable by the same local government. 

 

Many mid century buildings are at a point in their lifespan that they require significant renovations, and many developers and municipalities find its more cost effective to build new construction than renovate. As we all know, during the 60's many beautiful buildings older were destroyed because it was cheaper to build "new modern" construction. Lets not continue making the same mistakes. 

 

This is a decent mid century building, unless someone plans to replace it with a 12 story high rise, I see no reason to demolish it, considering none of the recent commercial office towers built downtown are even remotely attractive. 

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This is a decent mid century building, unless someone plans to replace it with a 12 story high rise, I see no reason to demolish it, considering none of the recent commercial office towers built downtown are even remotely attractive. 

 

 

I disagree with this being a decent building.....but if there were ever a place downtown for a nice mid rise building that serves a purpose, this was it.   North Blvd is coming together nicely and this would be a great place for a new hotel or mixed use building.  

 

I'd love to get my hands on that piece of property with a blank slate to work with.    

 

This thing is an eyesore that's not worth preserving.   A box is a box...and this box could be mistaken for a parking garage from 300 yards.   This one is worse than most boxes in that it sits in ruins on a street filled with much better buildings.  I'd rather focus on preserving buildings from that era that have some level of architectural or cultural significance.   

Edited by cajun

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The building has sentimental value to me. I used to love looking at the clock on Earth Day.

There's no reason why a similar clock design can't be included to be a bit reminiscent.

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We'll have to sneak up there and take one of those clock hands for you if they knock it down.

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Hmmm...could have put this in the new hotels thread...was not expecting this...they are really trying to get 1,000 hotel rooms Downtown after starting with Zero! Sounds like the will restore the clock back into operation...

 

Holiday Inn Express planned on North Boulevard downtown
 

The Baton Rouge Savings & Loan building at 400 North Blvd. will be renovated into an 89-room Holiday Inn Express, bringing the total downtown hotel room count to more than 900 by the end of 2014. Plans for the hotel were announced at this morning morning’s DDD meeting by architect Francisco Alecha, who says construction will begin in January. Renovations will entail a restoration of the exterior and interior of the building to National Park Service standards, Alecha says. Renderings of the renovated building display a royal blue color on the exterior of the first floor and the original clock on the exterior wall facing west restored back to operation. “This project was largely viable due to the state and federal tax projects,” Alecha said. “It’s a bit expensive to renovate an old building like this.” Alecha says the hotel will include some parking available in the back, though it will be mostly handicapped spaces. However, the central location of the future Holiday Inn Express will put hotel guests in walking distance from the 19th JDC courthouse and popular downtown destinations, says DDD Executive Director Davis Rhorer. “My goal is to get to 1,000 rooms (downtown), and we started with zero,” Rhorer says. “So we’re seeing the homestretch. It’s going to be an incredible, incredible turnaround for this area.” —Rachel Alexander

 

http://www.businessreport.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=daily-reportAM&date=20131210

Edited by richyb83

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Can't they use one of their many brands? I don't like the idea of seeing a Holiday Inn Express in that area.

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Cool! You're right though, I wonder what made them decide on a Holiday Inn Express. Maybe the figured the ugly building should get the economy brand?

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I can't really picture a hotel there.

The Holiday Inn Express is a pretty crappy brand. Not sure I support tax breaks for this even if it does utilize an old structure. I think downtown is past the point where it's inappropriate to be picky.

Budget hotels in downtown settings are always miserable regardless of how new they are.

Edited by cajun

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