Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, the development of Downtown Baton Rouge continues to escalate with public and private investment remaining at remarkable levels. A number of current projects continue to build upon downtown's success, keeping the momentum of development at a steady pace. Highlighted below are some of the exciting developments currently underway or recently completed.
200 Water Street
Work continues at 200 Water Street, which will bring 20 residential lofts to the Water Campus. The building is adjacent to the campus’s main square, located in he heart of the development. Both the residential units and main square are currently under construction and expected to be completed this fall.
Chase South Tower
Wampold Companies is currently planning to renovate the Chase South Tower into commercial offices and residential apartments. The building, which is very prominent on the downtown skyline, will offer 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, 144 residential units, and a 8,000 square foot pool area on the penthouse level. Plans for the building are to be considered by the Planning Commission in August.
The Vintage BR
A New Orleans born restaurant,The Vintage, recently opened on the bottom floor of the Commerce Building at the corner of Third Street and Laurel Street. Serving breakfast, lunch, and after work bites, this restaurant offers beignets, breakfast dishes, flatbreads, sandwiches, savory bites, charcuterie and cheese boards. In addition to the trendy menu, the Vintage Br is known for their comfortable and modern atmosphere as well as their happy hour cocktails.
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry has moved into its new headquarters at Fifth and Main streets. LABI acquired the building and land for $2.7 million in July 2017 from Commercial Properties Realty Trust and began renovating the building which offers several conference rooms as well as a downstairs cafe area. A ribbon cutting for the building will be held in September.
Louisiana Board of Realtors
The Louisiana Board of Realtors is developing a new office space at Main and 9th Streets. The three-story building will be located at 861 Main Street, next door to the organization’s headquarters. The Louisiana Board of Realtors are currently seeking tenants to occupy the 9,000 square feet of office space and a 4,500 square-foot conference room. Construction will begin once tenants are secured.
Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
The new home of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge is currently underway on St. Ferdinand Street. The building will include a community art space, recording studio, rehearsal spaces, artist workshops and gallery. Crews have begun work on the triangle shaped building that will be twice the size of their previous space on Laurel Street. Completion is estimated by next spring.
River Center Library
The new state-of-the-art River Center Branch Library is the center piece of North Boulevard Town Square and the Central Green - a place where our city's civic and cultural attractions come together. The 50,000 square-foot building offers many dynamic rooms of innovation and experimentation, while the 4th floor meeting rooms allow many types of dialogue and community discussion that further enhance our community. The building also features a roof top terrace and green screen with views of the surrounding community, as well as a large media screen facing Galvez Plaza. Photo credit: Mark Bienvenu
River Center Theatre
The River Center Theatre is undergoing a major renovation to upgrade the interior seating, lobby, and theatre areas. Little improvements had been made since it was originally built in 1977, making its renovation a part of the strategic plan developed for the larger River Center facility years ago. The exterior plaza is also being improved to increase ADA accessibility and pedestrian flow. In addition, a guest drop-off lane will be included along St. Louis Street. The construction is expected to be complete in 2021.
Baton Rouge General
Downtown has regained a nearby essential healthcare service with the reopening of the Baton Rouge General Mid City Medical Center this summer. The center offers emergency, outpatient, and limited in-patient services including skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Located at 3600 Florida Boulevard, the BR General is approximately an eight minute drive from downtown's center. It joins other essential services in the downtown area serving residents, office workers, and visitors including Neighborhood Health, Prescriptions to Geaux, and Matherne's Market.
Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, the lead developer on the mixed income Elysian I and II residential complexes on Spanish Town road between 11th Street and 13th Street, have begun construction on the Elysian III. The Elysian III will bring 42 additional units to Downtown East with 50% of units affordable and 50% market rate. The Elysian III joins several planned or underway residential units in the Downtown East area, bringing additional residents to the city's core.
Downtown Greenway Phase II and III
The Downtown Greenway is a 2.75 mile pedestrian and bicycle corridor that links inner city residential neighborhoods to downtown parks, businesses, and cultural attractions. Due to the size and scope of the greenway, the project has been divided into multiple phases, with phase I and II now complete with the recent portion completed on T.J. Jemison Boulevard / East Boulevard. Bicyclists and pedestrians can now enjoy a safe and pleasant experience from the heart of downtown to Expressway Park. Phase III of the Downtown Greenway is currently being planned in partnership between the DDD and the EBR City-Parish Traffic Engineering Division, continuing north from North Boulevard to Spanish Town Road. This greenway portion is expected to begin late this summer.