New Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions and The Water Institute of The Gulf Reach Construction Milestone

Before Ceremony

BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Commissioner of Administration for the state of Louisiana, Jay Dardenne and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation President/CEO, John Davies were joined by Mayor President Sharon Weston Broome and Justin Ehrenwerth, CEO/President of The Water Institute of The Gulf, in a topping-off ceremony. Dignitaries and guests signed a piece of structural steel to be installed near the top of the third-floor Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions and The Water Institute of The Gulf now under construction and slated for completion in December 2017.

This event marks the third building on The Water Campus with two others set to break ground by year end. The 34,000 square-foot building designed by Coleman Partners and Perkins+Will, will consist of office space on the first and second floors while also housing an 8,000 square-foot conference center on the third floor. The conference center will be play host to academic conventions, research conferences, as well as serve as an event venue for corporate events and private receptions.

The Water Campus, currently a $60 million urban development in downtown Baton Rouge, is the home of the Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions and The Water Institute of The Gulf, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority as well as the LSU Center for River Studies.

“Today’s topping-off ceremony fulfills another milestone in our commitment to position Louisiana as a leader in the coastal solutions water sector. The Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions will propel Louisiana onto the cutting-edge of coastal protection innovation, with Baton Rouge serving as a thriving landmark for major businesses and restoration projects,” said Davies.

The building is located on the old Baton Rouge Municipal Dock Property (approximately 11 acres) - constructed in 1926 for $550,000. It enabled ocean-going vessels to off-load heavy cargo onto barges for upriver transport, or to rail for inland shipment through Baton Rouge. With the construction of the port facility on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, the old City Dock was no longer in service by 1968.

“This remarkable building on the bank of the Mississippi River represents an exciting future for The Water Institute of the Gulf. Together, we will move forward with restoring our coast while exporting the knowledge and science-based solutions developed in Louisiana to coastal and deltaic communities around the world,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf. “This iconic building will not only serve as a landmark in Baton Rouge, but it will become a gathering point for experts from around the world.”

The Water Campus is a catalyst for development along the Nicholson Corridor between downtown and LSU. It will provide a strategic location for future interaction between both regional, national and international coastal, environmental and water-related stakeholders, such as state and federal agencies, educational and research institutions and engineering, environmental, planning and consulting firms, as well as nonprofit advocates.

The Water Campus is a public and private partnership between the state of Louisiana, the city of Baton Rouge, LSU, and the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority along with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Commercial Properties Realty Trust which has extensive development, redevelopment and project management experience.

 About BRAF: The Baton Rouge Area Foundation: The Foundation is a community foundation with $626 million in assets. The Foundation connects philanthropists with nonprofits to make sure the needs of communities are met. After decades of providing the vision and the resources necessary to enhance the quality of life throughout south Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014. Recognized for its work as an innovative problem solver and visionary, the Foundation and its partners, both public and private, have achieved a long and impressive list of accomplishments in urban revitalization, education, research, the arts, regional transportation and infrastructure improvement. For more about the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, visit

About CPRT: Commercial Properties Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust that manages and develops property holdings of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Because of this relationship with a community foundation, a portion of the profits are shared for improving the quality of life in areas where CPRT operates. CPRT manages shopping centers and mixed-use properties in North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas. For more, visit

About The Water Institute of the Gulf: The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent research institute dedicated to advancing the understanding of coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems, both within the Gulf Coast and around the world. This mission supports the practical application of innovative science and engineering, providing solutions that benefit society. For more information, visit

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Sept. 17, 2016

For more information contact:
Susan Boudreaux, Mayor's Office: (225) 389-5101
Michelle McCalope, Mayor's Office: (225) 389-7957

City-Parish Initiative Lets Electric Car Owners Charge for Free

Program begins in downtown with chargers in public parking spaces

Today Mayor-President Melvin L. "Kip" Holden unveiled a new City-Parish initiative called "Green Park Baton Rouge", a program that will let drivers of electric cars charge their vehicles for free at prime public parking spots, starting in downtown and spreading to private businesses across the parish.

Electric vehicles parking in metered spots must pay normal parking fees, but may use the charging station for free for up to four hours. Entergy is the lead sponsor of Green Park, providing a $75,000 grant to purchase and install the charging stations and covering the cost of electricity. Holden was joined for the announcement by Phillip May of Entergy along with representatives of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation which helped coordinate the program for the city, and Ann Shaneyfelt of Louisiana Clean Fuels, a non-profit organization in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

"With more individuals and companies buying electric cars, this will allow Baton Rouge to greatly expand access to charging stations and provide the same convenience we offer to drivers of gas powered autos," Mayor Holden said. "We welcome these quiet, environmentally friendly electric cars so it just makes sense to accommodate the needs of all types of vehicles on our streets."

"Entergy is proud to be one of the cleanest power producers in the country," said May. "These electric charging stations will be beneficial to people who drive electric cars and may even spur others to give them a try. In the long run, it can provide economic benefits for the drivers, as well as environmental benefits for all of us."

Holden announced the program at the North Boulevard Town Square in downtown Baton Rouge, where the first 11 Green Park spaces will be located. Pointing out that electric cars are no longer an oddity, Holden said price drops have made them affordable to more motorists.

The Foundation and City-Parish officials are talking with private businesses and large institutions about adding Green Park charging stations at work locations. Though still a niche market, sales of electric cars are expected to rise rapidly as manufacturers produce cars that can travel farther without a charge, prices continue to decline and federal and state incentives are often available.

Later this year, Chevrolet will sell its new Bolt for $30,000 with a 200-mile range. Late next year, Tesla is expected to deliver its Model 3, a $35,000 sedan with range of more than 200 miles. Advance orders for the Model 3 have exceeded 400,000.

For consumers, electric cars are quieter, friendly to the environment and cheaper to operate. The Nissan Leaf, for instance, gets about 114 miles per gallon of gas equivalent. Electric cars have fewer parts—no transmissions and simple engines, making them less expensive to service.

Green Park will help to overcome another hurdle for electric cars, providing charging stations near where people work.  A summer 2016 report by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation–BR CityStats–showed that 39% of EBR residents would be interested in purchasing an electric car if their employer offered charging stations. Ultimately, the City-Parish and its partners in the Green Park Baton Rouge initiative hope to add close to 50 new electric vehicle charging stations throughout the parish at popular destinations and local businesses.



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5401 North Announces New Unique Amenity Community Farm

Raleigh, N.C. - The developer of 5401 North, a unique community being built in North Raleigh, is bringing the Purple Martin Community Farm to its traditional neighborhood development. Nestled among the schools and home sites will be a 6-acre vegetable farm and several adjacent pocket gardens that will consist of edible landscapes. The farm's mission is to exhibit how a small area can produce enough food to support the entire community and others.

"5401 North is committed to growing fresh produce for the residents within the neighborhood and the surrounding community," says Carolyn Martin, President and CEO of Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the Baton Rouge developer of the community.

In additional to providing locally grown food, the Purple Martin Community Farm at 5401 North will promote healthy living by fostering an educational forum to teach communities how to grow these foods and make them widely available so individuals can learn how to incorporate them into their daily lives.

There will be webcams located in each greenhouse to provide distance learning and transparency of our processes. The Farm will consist of planter boxes, row gardening, greenhouses, and a community gathering area for events. There will also be Purple Martin houses throughout the community in the neighborhood pocket parks to help decrease the mosquito population.

CPRT, the real estate arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation has provided a grant to Louisiana State University to help design and develop the farm so that it can be replicated in other communities. In a collaborative effort, Wake Tech Community College, which is adjacent to 5401 North will also be involved by providing student interns and apprenticeships from their Workforce Continuing Education classes. "We feel this is an excellent hands-on opportunity for our students that will enhance the overall continuing education experience," says Dr. Stephen C. Scott, President of Wake Tech Community College.

The farm has established a box garden near the first home sites that will allow new and potential residents an opportunity to see why living at 5401 North offers a unique community for its families and businesses alike. The Purple Martin Farm at 5401 North intends to sell produce to the community restaurants and grocer. Eventually the farm will also offer CSA boxes of fresh vegetables to its residents and surrounding community.

5401 North will mix housing, schools, offices and retail on 400 acres, all following a blueprint for living healthy in a community that respects the environment. Under construction now at the intersection of I-540 and Louisburg (Highway 401), the neighborhood will include about 1,800 homes and more than 1 million square feet of office and retail space.

The homes – townhomes, condos, apartments, single-family dwellings – will be priced from $200,000 to $700,000 to draw a diverse workforce to the community. 5401 North offers homes for sale by Medallion Homes, Level Homes, and The Townes by Barker and Lovette. River Bend elementary is located within the development and River Bend Middle School is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.

For more information, contact: Tina Rance, Marketing Director, 225.317.3021,
About Commercial Properties Realty Trust: CPRT is a real estate investment trust that manages and develops property holdings of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Because of this relationship with a community foundation, a portion of the profits are shared for improving the quality of life in areas where CPRT operates. CPRT manages shopping centers and mixed-use properties in North Carolina, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico.

For more, visit For more about the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, visit

Commercial Properties Realty Trust Breaks Ground at Americana

Shovels in ground


Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar & Mixed-Use Building Begin Construction

Bistro Byronz Announces New Location at Americana

Baton Rouge, LA. – Representatives from Commercial Properties Realty Trust, Walk-ON's Bistreaux & Bar and Americana held a ground breaking celebration for three new buildings at The Villages of Americana in Zachary, La. Americana, the premiere traditional neighborhood development in Zachary is well under way – selling homes, hosting events at The Point, and Zachary residents visiting the YMCA daily.

"Walk-On's, voted the "Best Sports Bar in North America" by ESPN in 2012 is excited to be a part of this community,"

says Brandon Landry, co- owner and founder of Walk-On's Enterprises. "The neighborhood, the new YMCA, being close to the Zachary ball parks, and the city of Zachary all helped create the perfect catalyst that led us to this great location," he said. The new 6,100 square foot restaurant will serve Walk-On's signature menu, include outdoor seating, and numerous flat screen TVs.

The Villages of Americana will sit just off the new roundabout and four-lane Highway. CPRT is building two 33,000 square foot residential over retail buildings in the Villages. Each building will have approximately 30, one- and two- bedroom units. The Villages will serve as the gateway into the Americana community.

Also announced today, BISTRO BYRONZ will open its third Baton Rouge location in the mixed-use buildings being built by CPRT. The restaurant will be approximately 4,200 square feet with outdoor dining. Bistro Byronz is a neighborhood restaurant in cities across Louisiana where people and families of all kinds come together for a little French flavor and a lot of Louisiana spice.

Mayor David Amrhein said, "Zachary will be an incredible market for Walk-On's and Bistro Byronz. Zachary is unique in that we attract people from 4 other parishes to buy products and take advantage of Zachary services."

Ten years after opening its doors to the Baton Rouge community in Mid City, with its signature cocktails, unique design, and undeniably distinct menu, Bistro Byronz will now offer its charming experience and deliciously simple fare to Zachary.

Joining the original ownership team with this location is John Engquist, developer of the Americana TND. "I wanted to help bring the perfect dining options to Americana that matched the feel and spirit of the development. I have always loved the original Bistro Byronz, and decided it was the perfect fit for the community; family-friendly, inviting, sophisticated with a unique menu of great food. I wanted the Americana residents to feel as though they could come have date night, meet for drinks, or bring the whole family for Sunday brunch," said Engquist.

Emelie Alton, CEO of the parent company and member of the Kantrow family said, "We wanted to create a concept that was replicable; taking the core components of what has worked from the beginning about Bistro Byronz, but be flexible and adaptive with other elements so that it is truly a neighborhood bistro that feels true and complimentary to the areas we land in." "Americana is a perfect fit for us," said Brock Kantrow, COO of the parent company. "It is community oriented and allows us to become an integrated part of that community," he added.

Provident Resources Group will build a $20 million, 100 bed senior living facility in the heart of Americana and will begin construction later this year. Currently, there is an increasing number of homes under construction with numerous home sales. The $11 million YMCA has over 3,300 members and a beautiful lakefront park and expansive dog park opened last year.

For leasing inquiries for other commercial retail please contact us at: or call 225.924.7206.

About Commercial Properties Realty Trust

CPRT is a real estate investment trust that manages and develops property holdings of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Because of this relationship with a community foundation, a portion of the profits are shared for improving the quality of life in areas where CPRT operates. CPRT manages shopping centers and mixed-use properties in North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas.

For more, visit For more information about the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, visit

About Americana

Americana is an upcoming traditional neighborhood development located in Zachary, La. With more than 100 acres of green space, a state-of-the-art YMCA and proximity to the award-winning Zachary Community School District, Americana is a first of its kind community in East Baton Rouge Parish. There are numerous residential homes under construction, and the Welcome Center and Model Homes are now open. For more information on Americana or for any other inquiries, visit

About Walk-On's Enterprises

Walk-On's Enterprises® is arguably the most distinctive restaurant company in America. Its concepts are fresh, fun and original, from Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar — voted ESPN's Best Sports Bar in North America — to Happy's Irish Pub and Walk-On's Catering. Additional growth lies ahead, as the company expands on its winning combination of delicious, affordable food and drinks presented in an uncommonly warm and friendly atmosphere.

For more information, visit

About Bistro Byronz

Bistro Byronz is the definition of a Louisiana Bistro (bistro: an unpretentious neighborhood restaurant where people gather day and night to relax, share conversation and enjoy good food at a reasonable price). From our bistro-casual eat-in and take-out lunch menu, to our new bistro-fare and full-service dinner and drinks menus, we think we've got just the perfect recipe that combines some great French flavor with our own Louisiana Spice. You'll notice it in the feel of the place itself, the casual, but attentive service and of course in the menu.


Shovel with WalkOn Truck

Ground Breaking of the New Water Institute of the Gulf Research and Conference Center

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and President and CEO Charles “Chip” Groat of The Water Institute of the Gulf joined Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, President and CEO John Davies of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and LSU President F. King Alexander in breaking ground for the construction of the $22.4 million Water Institute of the Gulf Research and Conference Center along the Mississippi River, between downtown Baton Rouge and LSU.

To be built at the site of Baton Rouge’s former municipal dock, the elevated three-story structure will extend over the river, providing a plaza surrounding the structure for unprecedented public viewing of the Mississippi River beyond the levee. The centerpiece of the structure will be The Water Institute of the Gulf, which will occupy offices on the first and second floors of the 34,000-square-foot structure. On the third floor, a major conference space will play host to academic conventions, research conferences and public meetings and hearings, all focused on the preservation of Louisiana’s coast, and related efforts worldwide. Applied research projects of the 4-year-old Water Institute of the Gulf are taking place on a global scale and will inform major public policy decisions and public works projects in Louisiana, along the Gulf Coast and around the world.

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The Water Institute headquarters joins two other facilities under construction nearby – the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority headquarters and the LSU Center for River Studies – as anchors of the 35-acre Water Campus that eventually will be home to an estimated 1.2 million square feet of commercial office, retail, restaurant, hospitality and residential space, along with an estimated 4,000 direct and indirect jobs between Nicholson Drive and the river.

Governor Jindal said, “Here at the foot of the Interstate 10 bridge on the Mississippi River, where millions of drivers pass each year, we are developing a world-class campus of water management research, development and project activity. This new Water Institute of the Gulf headquarters will serve as the centerpiece of our efforts to glean innovative new applications that can be put to work in the protection and restoration of Louisiana’s coastline. We will not only be providing invaluable assistance to our state, but we will become a magnet for water management research worldwide and we will lay the foundation, over the next two decades, for as many as 45,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the water management sector in our state. We’re proud that the collaboration of many partners has made this day possible, and that Louisiana will accomplish great environmental and economic advances because of the water management expertise being developed in our capital city.”

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Construction of the Water Institute headquarters will include vehicular and pedestrian pathways connecting the river facility to River Road and to LSU and downtown Baton Rouge via the existing Mississippi River levee trail. The design of the state-funded facility encourages collaboration of water management professionals across the Water Campus while also enabling the public to see and feel the river in a way they’ve never experienced before.
“Today is an exciting day for Louisiana and for our team at The Water Institute of the Gulf,” Groat said. “We believe our work is important because throughout the world, life happens at the water’s edge. We strive to conduct world-class applied research focused on sustaining the vitality of the world’s great coasts and deltas. Our roots are in Louisiana’s great delta and coast. We will be proud to carry out our mission from this iconic building on the edge of the mighty Mississippi. It’s a fitting home for the institute and we will work tirelessly to be a worthy tenant.”

Construction will be completed in the summer of 2017, when the Water Institute will move from its current office in downtown Baton Rouge to the new headquarters. Now employing 45 research scientists, engineers and technologists, the Water Institute will employ an estimated 55 people at the time of its 2017 move and plans to grow to more than 80 employees in the five years following the move.

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“I’ve worked with governors, mayors and legislators up and down the Mississippi River to sustain our river and coast, and what we have assembled on the Water Campus in Baton Rouge is unparalleled,” Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden said. “The Water Institute of the Gulf is the next step in Louisiana’s global leadership in coastal science and research, and there is much more to come.”

“We are excited to be a part of the Water Institute, an international research center on coastal issues housed right here in Baton Rouge,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Our LSU faculty and students look forward to working with researchers from around the world who come to the Water Institute to study and help solve the world’s growing coastal problems.”

“The building will bring us back to where our city began,” said President and CEO John Davies of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. “And the scientists who work within it will offer solutions for a hopeful future, not only for the people living on our coast but also for the billions of people who live on or near water around the world.”

About The Water Institute of the Gulf
The Water Institute of the Gulf is the Center of Excellence and a not-for-profit, independent research and technical services resource for resilient coasts and sustainable water systems worldwide. The work of the Institute helps ensure livable communities and a thriving economy and environment. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Tina Rance


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