New Residential Coming to Downtown
Onyx Building to Become 28 apartments with First Floor Commercial Space
Commercial Properties Realty Trust will begin redeveloping the Onyx Building in downtown Baton Rouge this fall, replacing a shuttered building with a combination of commercial space and apartments on Third Street that will be known as The Onyx Residences.
The new five-story building will have 28 one and two-bedroom apartments built above 5,600 square feet of commercial space. It will be located at the corner of Third and Convention streets. Apartments will range from 600 to 1,100 square feet and rents have not been determined. Each unit will have a balcony or terrace overlooking Third Street, Convention Street or the Shaw Center for the Arts. Reserved parking will be available across the street in the state parking garage at prevailing rates.
Commercial Properties expects to invest $6.2 million in the redevelopment with the building ready for occupancy in fall of 2014. The exterior of the building has more than 100 marble panels that will be reused on the new building.
Commercial Properties manages and develops real estate assets of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Thirteen years ago, the Foundation underwrote Plan Baton Rouge, a revival strategy for downtown that has drawn more than $2.5 billion in investments from the public and private sector.
"We thank all the people who have come together to create a common gathering place for everyone in the parish," said John G. Davies, CEO and president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. "Downtown has more than a dozen new restaurants, more class-A office space, a new Town Square, hotels, the Shaw Center for the Arts and its Manship Theatre. With this development, more people will be able to live downtown, which is vital to continuing the area's transformation."
Before this project, Commercial Properties and the Foundation rehabbed the abandoned Capitol House into a Hilton, built restaurant spaces on the Art Block and put up One Eleven Lofts, which are 12 fully-rented apartments on Third Street at the Shaw Center.
The Onyx Building originally opened in the 1950's and was the home of Rider's Jewelry store until the late 1970's. It sat empty for more than three decades until City Year, a nonprofit, occupied it for a brief time in the last decade.
The Arts Block was formed as a unique partnership between the City of Baton Rouge, the State of Louisiana, Louisiana State University, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Bounded by North Boulevard and Lafayette, Convention and Third streets, the Arts Block includes the Shaw Center for the Arts, the LSU Museum of Art, The Manship Theatre complex, several restaurants, a coffee shop, and One Eleven Lofts.
Iconic Building will be home to the Water Institute of the Gulf Headquarters, Research & Interpretive Center
Baton Rouge, LA. – Louisiana-based Coleman Partners and global architect firm Perkins+Will have been chosen to design the first building on the new innovative Water Campus near downtown Baton Rouge. Coleman & Partners and Perkins+Will were among four final teams that recently presented to a selection committee chosen by The Water Campus, LLC. The panel consisted of architects, contractors, scientists, engineers, planners, and CEO’s of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Commercial Properties Realty Trust.
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 approximate 45,000-square-foot, $20-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.
“It’s an honor for Coleman Partners Architects LLC/Perkins+Will to have been chose for this project. Not only will this project be transformative for the skyline of Baton Rouge, but this building will enhance the efforts of the Water Institute of the Gulf to meet its mission to research, restore and enhance our coastal environments” said Buddy Ragland, principal at Coleman Partners Architects LLC. The panel’s design considerations included the ability to express the overall mission of the Water Institute of The Gulf and embrace the Mississippi River as its leading design component, project budget, operational efficiencies, sustainable design that reflects the ecologically sensitive nature of the project and its unique site.
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.
“The building on the dock will return Baton Rouge to the riverfront, extend the revival of downtown to the Nicholson corridor and be an emblem for the future of our region,” said John Davies, president & CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The construction will begin later this year along with a 50,000-square-foot, approximate $20-million building for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to house its 165 strong team of administrators, scientists, technicians, and office support staff. CPRA is the agency charged with implementing the state’s $50 billion coastal plan.
Also under construction this year will be the River Modeling Center 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 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 have more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial space on approximately 33 acres, and house 2,000 occupants who will inspire international collaboration with other global water campuses and universities.
For more information please visit: www.cparch.com
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 www.thewaterinstitute.org.
Ceremonial Lei Cutting with Trader Joe's Captain Brian Augustine,, Regional VP Greg Paquet
and the Trader Joe's Crew to be Held at 8:00A.M.
(October 28, 2013) Monrovia, CA - Trader Joe's, a unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic, is scheduled to open a their first Louisiana store in Baton Rouge Thursday, October 31st at 8:00 A.M. The 13,000 square feet store is located at 3535 Perkins Road inside the Acadian Village (corner of Perkins Road and Acadian Thruway) and the trading hours are 8A.M. - 9P.M., daily. To kick off the official opening Trader Joe's Captain (store manager) Brian Augustine, Regional VP Greg Paquet and the crew will gather at 8:00A.M. for a ceremonial lei cutting to welcome new customers– Trader Joe's style. The celebration will continue throughout the day with face painting for the kids, giveaways and food demonstrations.
Inside the new store, customers will find Trader Joe's signature festive décor, which mixes cedar covered walls, Hawaiian-inspired elements, and some "local flare" – including art that celebrates the neighborhood. Throughout the grocery store, there are several hand-painted murals that pay homage to the local landmarks with a Trader Joe's twist. These include: the old and new State Capitol Buildings, Memorial Tower, City Park Lake, Tiger Stadium and more.
Trader Joe's is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Augustine as the Captain (Store Manager). Brian comes to the new store from Corvallis, Oregon. Brian has been with the company for more than a decade.
The "Trader" in Trader Joe's refers to the way the company blazed a distinct trail through the grocery industry, searching the world for great values and distinctive products. Store employees, dubbed "Crew Members," consider themselves "traders on the culinary high seas." Crew Members sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the friendly and light-hearted air of the store.
Many area residents after the store opens can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe's "Fearless Flyer" in their mailboxes. The Fearless Flyer is a somewhat irreverent description of a timely selection of Trader Joe's products. It's been called a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine. Each edition highlights a selection of Trader Joe's products that the company buyers believe are worthy of customer interest, including comfort foods and items that are organic or have other special attributes.
Trader Joe's carries an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages including fresh baked artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100% juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, and vitamins and supplements, as well as the basics, like milk and eggs – all at honest, low prices.
Trader Joe's is truly a grocery store unlike any other. Trader Joe's is a "store of stories," meaning every item in the store has its own virtues -- high quality ingredients, great flavor or simply an extraordinary price -- many items often feature all of those qualities. Another significant point of difference, all of Trader Joe's prices are everyday prices. Trader Joe's doesn't have "sales" for a few days, only to hike the prices back up again. Their prices change only when their costs change -- there are no fancy promotions, discount cards or couponing wars.
So how does Trader Joe's offer unique groceries at prices everyone can afford? By offering more than 3000 items under the Trader Joe's private label, which includes Trader José's salsas, Trader Ming's fried rice, Trader Giotto's marinara sauces, in addition to specially purchased items.
Also, Trader Joe's buys differently than other grocers – they purchase from manufacturers, not through distributors. They'll take a brand name product, take out the preservatives and artificial colors and ingredients, and put it under their Trader Joe's label to sell it at a real discount.
Trader Joe's introduces approximately a dozen new items every week, heightening the store's adventurous appeal. Our buyers travel around the world searching out unique products at great values. In order for an item to be sold in a Trader Joe's store, it must pass the scrutiny of a discerning tasting panel. Thousands of items are tasted each year to find products that both appeal to the culinary adventurer and microwave aficionado.
Trader Joe's is a chain of neighborhood grocery stores featuring high quality imported and domestic foods and beverages at honest, low prices. Trader Joe's (www.traderjoes.com) began in 1958 in the Los Angeles area. Since then, Trader Joe's has expanded to more than 400 stores in 35 states.
Purchaser of land brings two Louisiana companies together on 400 Acre Development
Raleigh, N.C. - The developer of 5401 North, a progressive, traditional neighborhood community being built in Raleigh, North Carolina has sold its residential tract of land to Engquist-Level Development. Commercial Properties Realty Trust and Engquist-Level Development are two Louisiana companies that will be collaborating on this emerging project.
Enquist-Level will assemble a coalition of builders to include Level Homes which entered the Raleigh market earlier this year in Apex, Cary, and Durham communities. Onsite infrastructure at 5401 North will begin soon and the first homes are scheduled to begin construction early next summer. "Our company believes that 5401 North is one of the most comprehensive and extraordinary developments in North Carolina and we are delighted to be a part of it," said John Engquist, ELD Owner. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to develop our residential product along with other builders and Commercial Properties Realty Trust" he said.
Designed by Dover, Kohl and Partners of Miami, 5401 North is built on the principles of ecological and social sustainability. The community blends residential, educational, retail and commercial uses on 400 acres that are designed to optimize health through integrated programming, education, and ecological sensitivity. Located at the intersection of I-540 and Highway 401, the neighborhood has been approved for 2,250 homes and more than 1 million square feet of office and retail space.
"We are thrilled to have an experienced, quality residential developer like Engquist-Level join us at 5401 North," said Carolyn Martin, CPRT President and CEO. "This will expedite the launch of our project after years of comprehensive and detailed planning", she said.
Wake Technical Community College's Northern Wake Campus borders 5401 North and the 28 – mile Neuse River Greenway has been completed along the east perimeter of the community. Recently voters approved the Wake County Public School bond which includes the middle school at 5401 North. The school is scheduled to be designed in 2014 and open in 2017 and will be the second school in the community following Riverbend Elementary which opened in 2008.
5401 North is in final negotiations with technology, medical, and sustainable partners. Inquiries are invited from commercial and retail tenants.
World-Class Water Campus to be Built in Downtown Baton Rouge Scientists, Engineers, Educators, & Government Combine to Form a Global Reaching Water Research Environment
Baton Rouge, LA. - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal, officials from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), Department of Economic Development and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) joined leaders from the City of Baton Rouge, The Water Institute of the Gulf, Louisiana State University and other coastal research institutes to unveil plans for the establishment of The Water Campus in Baton Rouge. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has taken the leadership role in master planning a world-class Water Campus to be built just south of the Mississippi River Bridge in downtown Baton Rouge. The approximate 30 acre campus will be the home of The Water Institute of the Gulf, an independent applied research organization currently focused on producing and providing unassailable scientific solutions to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority as it works to implement Louisiana's $50 billion Coastal Protection and Restoration Plan.
The initial phase will consist of the dedication of land, the construction of three facilities and an investment of over $50 million.
The Foundation and Commercial Properties Realty trust will develop and manage the master planned campus designed by Dover, Kohl and Associates. The area is programmed to house scientific, engineering, construction and governmental agencies to create a vibrant experiential environment designed for developing process-based predictive models that link physical and ecological processes. When fully built out, this urban, riverside campus anticipates well over 2,000 occupants and inspire international collaboration with other global water campuses and universities.
"The location presents a unique opportunity to act as a catalyst to implement numerous planning initiatives such as Plan BR I & II; the Riverfront Master Plan, Old South Baton Rouge Master Plan; Nicholson Drive Corridor Study; Future BR and The LSU Master Plan. The Water Campus rests at the intersection of these planning efforts, providing an international intellectual destination that will bring people and critical resources to this area," said John Davies, President & CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation." The campus will be comprised of land purchased from East Baton Rouge Housing Authority, a 13- acre parcel donated from the State of Louisiana, and approximately 11 acres that include the old City Dock from the City of Baton Rouge. Another large parcel owned by engaged stakeholders such as Mike Wampold, a friend of the foundation, will be privately developed consistent with the Water Campus Master Plan.
Governor Jindal said, "This new campus is great news for our state and coastal communities across the globe as they begin to face coastal sustainability pressures. This campus will help us pool expertise and resources from the public and private sectors to develop innovative coastal solutions that will build upon the coastal investment foundation we've already set in place. We significantly increased investment in coastal protection and restoration since 2008, investing more in the last six years than any other period in our state's history."
"Louisiana Economic Development strongly supports the development of the water management sector as one of nine key industries that are crucial for the optimum growth and development of our state," LED Secretary Stephen Moret said. "We can't think of a better springboard for success in this critical area than a master-planned campus that combines the strengths of the Water Institute of the Gulf, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Louisiana's research universities, and collaboration with the more than 120 Louisiana firms that already pursue professional work related to Gulf Coast restoration and water resource management. We believe that The Water Campus will make a major contribution toward enabling the water management sector to result in roughly 20,000 to 45,000 new jobs in Louisiana from now through 2030, as we address Louisiana's critical water management challenges while exporting our growing water management expertise around the world."
"The Water Campus will be a world class asset for the City of Baton Rouge and the perfect bridge between LSU and Downtown riverfront development. I have worked with other Mississippi River Mayors and organizations dedicated to a healthy and sustainable river and coast; now this takes our commitment to a level of international significance," said Mayor-President Melvin L. "Kip" Holden.
Garret Graves, Chair of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) commented, "The loss of south Louisiana communities, industry and seafood to hurricanes, floods and erosion is the greatest threat facing our state today. Some projections put the coast of our state just south of Baton Rouge by 2100. Simply put, that isn't an option. Today, the investment decision is about whether we want Louisiana to lead the world in proactive efforts to protect communities and restore coastal habitats for fish and wildlife or we want to have flooded homes and businesses with every storm. We can choose to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Louisiana's colleges, universities and companies to help innovate solutions in a collaborative manner or we can take a disparate approach where bits and pieces of the knowledge and expertise are lost. It is about setting the state on a path to have science rather than politics guide future hurricane protection, flood control and coastal restoration decisions."
"LSU is looking forward to contributing its extensive coastal expertise to the expanded Mississippi River model. As one of only 33 Sea Grant institutions in the country, we are charged with the task of bringing together scientists, citizens and policy makers to positively influence the health of our waterways. This partnership is another example of our university's leadership in areas that directly impact the well-being of Louisiana," commented LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander.
Concerns about hurricane protection and ecological health in the lower Mississippi River delta have grown in the 21st century, as ongoing challenges have been compounded by events including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The Water Institute of the Gulf was established in Baton Rouge in 2011 to provide scientific and engineering advice to the state of Louisiana for a variety of coastal restoration, ecosystem management, and hurricane protection projects. The scientific capacity that The Water Institute will build is envisioned to eventually serve communities throughout the lower Mississippi River delta, as well as in large deltaic river systems in other parts of the world. The Institute promotes a systematic human and environmental systems approach to scientific research that supports integrated water and environmental resources management.
"The Water Institute of the Gulf is proud to be a part of this landmark project. Our thanks go to Governor Jindal, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the City Parish and others who have played a leadership role leading to this announcement," says Chip Groat, President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf. "The campus will serve as a hub for innovation and collaboration by assembling experts in numerous fields and sectors to develop solutions for the coastal, river, and water resource challenges we face here in Louisiana, throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond."
Louisiana has lost approximately 1,900 square miles of land since 1932 according to the US Geological Survey. The extensive land loss not only harms natural eco systems, it makes towns and cities more vulnerable to flooding. The same flooding risks also threaten nationally important infrastructure, such as navigation channels and energy supply systems that are critical to the nation's economy. As Louisiana continues to lose land, jobs, and communities, it has become clear that saving the coast is not an option - it is an imperative.
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 www.thewaterinstitute.org.
About The Baton Rouge Area Foundation: The Foundation is a community foundation with $608 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 BRAF.org.
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 the 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 CPRT.com.
BRAF/CPRT/ The Water Campus
Tina Rance | email@example.com | 225.317.3021 | 877.387.6126/800.648.9064
The Water Institute of the Gulf
Nick Speyrer | firstname.lastname@example.org | 225. 227.2716
City of Baton Rouge
Susan Boudreaux | email@example.com | 225.389.5102
State of Louisiana
Shannon Bates | firstname.lastname@example.org | 225.200.8858
Coastal Restoration & Protection Authority
Jenny Kurz | email@example.com | 225.610.9737
Ashley Berthelot | firstname.lastname@example.org | 225.578.3870
Gary Perilloux | email@example.com | 225.341.3437