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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Iconic building will be home to The Water Institute of the Gulf Headquarters, Research & Interpretive Center

Baton Rouge, LA. – The Water Campus released the first images of the new The Water Institute of the Gulf’s Headquarters, Research and Interpretive Center today. Louisiana-based Coleman Partners Architects LLC and global architect firm Perkins+Will have collaborated with Water Campus stakeholders to design the iconic building that will be constructed on the old city dock at the new, innovative Water Campus near downtown Baton Rouge. Construction will begin later this year with completion expected in July 2017.

The building will be headquarters for The Water Institute of the Gulf, and a research and interpretive center. It will be located on the historical Baton Rouge City Dock that was completed in 1926. The 33,000-square-foot, $22-million building will consist of an interpretive gallery, exhibit areas, offices, research labs and meeting and conference facilities. The building will be situated on the dock in a way that continues the long history of Baton Rouge business and culture existing along the banks of the Mississippi River.

"The design team is excited by the possibilities offered by this particular site. Not only will we be able to meet all of the programmatic requirements of The Water Institute, but we will be able to do so on a site like no other in the city", said Buddy Ragland, principal at Coleman Partners.

The architect’s design considerations include the ability to express the overall mission of The Water Institute of The Gulf and embraces the Mississippi River as its leading design component and reflects the ecologically sensitive nature of the project and its unique site.

"This building will be a world-class facility that Louisiana will be proud of", said Chip Groat, president and CEO of The Water Institute, "We continue to work diligently every day with our team and partners to build a world-class applied research organization worthy of calling such an iconic building home."

Other local projects by the Coleman Partners/Perkins+Will team include renovation and additions to Patrick Taylor Hall for LSU’s highly-ranked College of Engineering. Coleman Partners has an extensive history of working in Baton Rouge and specifically with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is very familiar with the challenges of working in and on the Mississippi River. Perkins+Will is part of a national planning, architecture and interior design firm founded in 1935, with particular experience in the design and construction of headquarters, interpretive spaces, and science and technology parks.

At the Water Campus off Nicholson Drive, construction has begun on the $20-million building for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to house its team of over 160 administrators, scientists, technicians and office support staff. CPRA is the agency charged with implementing the state’s $50 billion comprehensive master plan for a sustainable coast.

Construction has also begun on the Center for River Studies by LSU and CPRA. This 50,000-square-foot, small-scale model of the Mississippi River will allow for the study of all facets of ground and water behavior. It will be the one of the largest, most-dynamic models in the world.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has taken the leadership role in master planning the Water Campus. Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the real estate arm of the Foundation, will develop and manage the campus. When fully built out, the urban, riverside campus will include more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial space on about 33 acres, and house 2,000 occupants who will inspire international collaboration with other global water campuses and universities.

IBM Tower

ibm-retail-spaceThe IBM Services Center is located on the riverfront in Baton Rouge at the corner of Lafayette and Main Streets.

Downtown Baton Rouge has an increasingly important role as a regional economic and cultural center.  A series of recently completed projects have fueled growth by generating excitement and activity of bringing more businesses and visitors to the downtown area.  The IBM tower has approximately 1,200 workers and just across the street the state employees approximately 9,000 people.  Downtown currently has 632 businesses with a workforce of nearly 23,000 employees. Just adjacent to the IBM tower is the luxury apartments of 525 Lafayette that has approximately 150 residents.  According to the Downtown Development District's recent survey, over 140,000 people visit downtown daily for business or pleasure.

For more information, please contact us at 800.648.9064 or 225.924.7206, 

Governor Jindal and CPRA Highlight Groundbreaking of The Water Campus

Center for River Studies to Provide Venue for Multi-Discipline Collaboration and Coastal Research

February 12, 2015

sIMG 0676BATON ROUGE — Today, Governor Bobby Jindal, officials from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, LSU, the City of Baton Rouge, and the Water Institute participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Center for River Studies. The Center is the first building to begin construction on The Water Campus, a soon to be world-class research and engineering center in Baton Rouge that will serve as a hub for public, private, non-profit, and academic collaboration to develop innovative solutions for challenges facing coastal communities.

Governor Jindal said, "Today we're taking another step forward in making The Water Campus a reality. This project is a concept we joined together to announce just over a year ago. The creation of the Center for River Studies embodies the principles on which The Water Campus was founded, which are to equip our best and brightest with the skills they need to help us further our work to protect and restore our coast. This facility provides a venue for researchers, scientists, engineers, and citizens to work together to advance solutions to challenges facing coastal Louisiana. The work conducted at this Center will generate scientific strategies that will protect our coastal communities and help us preserve coastal Louisiana for our children and generations to come."

The Center for River Studies will house the Expanded Small Scale Physical Model, one of the largest moving bed physical models in the world. Measuring 90 feet by 120 feet, this state-of-the-art model is based on exact parameters of the river's physical and kinetic properties, producing a degree of accuracy never before achieved in lower-river physical modeling. Designed to simulate the Mississippi River's depth, sediment, and flow, the physical model will be used in conjunction with computer modeling to make informed decisions about the best way to sustain coastal Louisiana.

WaterCampus RMC Rendering

The Center will also include an interactive exhibit center focused on the achievements and advancements of the coastal program. In addition to showcasing actual projects, the center will highlight the robust science, tools, and community of knowledge and experience supporting the continued growth and development of Louisiana's coastal program.

Kyle Graham, executive director of the CPRA said, "The sustainability of our coast depends upon the efficient utilization of our natural resources.  Over the past 5 years we have spent more than $350 million actively mining material from the Mississippi River to construct wetlands and barrier islands.  Expanding our knowledge on how to effectively and efficiently utilize the resources of the Mississippi River is critical to our success.  The Center for River Studies will be a state of the art facility through which we can expand our knowledge of the river system, explore project concepts and educate stakeholders."

"We are pleased to partner with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on this important facility, which serves as a training ground for the next generation of coastal scientists and engineers," said LSU President F. King Alexander. "As Louisiana's flagship university, we continue to look for ways that academics and the public and private sectors can come together on projects that better our state, and helping to solve coastal erosion issues for South Louisiana is one of the most important research endeavors in which our faculty and students can be involved."

The state CPRA led the planning and design effort and is funding construction of the model and facility with $16 million of Coastal Impact Assistance Program funds. Upon completion, the facility will be donated to LSU which will operate the model with funding from CPRA. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation and its real estate entity, Commercial Properties Realty Trust, are the developers of The Water Campus, which will eventually include a multitude of buildings and research facilities working in the fields of coastal restoration and protection and other water-related issues.

SIMG 0673Mayor-President Kip Holden said, "As Mayor of a Mississippi River city, I have been actively working with groups like the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative and the America's Wetland Foundation to assure our river is healthy and sustainable for generations to come. The work produced by LSU at this new center will not only help save our coast and secure Louisiana's economic future, it will position Baton Rouge as a world leader in coastal and river science and research."

The Center for River Studies is the first facility to break ground on The Water Campus, a $45 million 33-acre development funded through a partnership between the State of Louisiana, the City of Baton Rouge, and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

BRAF President John Davies said, "The river model signals the beginning of a gathering place that will enable scientists to think about and solve the most difficult questions facing policymakers in deltas around the world. And for Baton Rouge, we expect this space to spark redevelopment up and down Nicholson Drive."

The initial phase of The Water Campus' development will include three additional facilities: an office building to house CPRA, a multi-tenant office building, and a new education and research center on the old Baton Rouge Municipal dock that will serve as the home of The Water Institute of the Gulf.

"This is an exciting step in the development of the Water Campus," said Chip Groat, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf. "We look forward to the day that we will be able to actively collaborate with researchers from universities across the state as well as nationally and internationally known researchers who will want to be a part of the exciting work taking place on the campus."

Developing over the next decade, the campus will expand to foster an integrated community focused on researching, engineering, and implementing solutions that will help secure the future of coastal Louisiana. The campus will provide an opportunity for multiple disciplines to unify their efforts and develop coastal knowledge and expertise that can be exported to other coastal communities around the world.

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