Baton Rouge is seeing and will continue to see, some revitalization to two well-known towers in downtown. Best known as the 'Chase Towers,' these buildings have been a staple in Baton Rouge commercial real estate since the 1960's and have been home to many businesses and corporations over the years. Since the buildings have some age, they have fallen into a place where renovations and repairs are needed. The new owner of the south tower (also the current owner of the north tower) claims to have a plan to spend in the 7 figures to revitalize the building.
The two towers have always been used exclusively for commercial real estate. However, the new plan for the south tower appears to be for mixed-use, both commercial and residential real estate. Located in the heart of Baton Rouge's business district, this is an exciting prospect to bring residential residents to the building. While the exact sale price of the building was not disclosed, the new owner paid just under $20M for the adjoining tower in 2007.
The south tower building is currently utilizing around 70%, with the north tower at a much higher utilization rate in the 90's. It has been reported that the new owner feels confident that transitioning the building into a mixed-use property will breathe new life into the building and optimize it to its highest potential. The current owner also owns other well-known properties downtown and is not new to the real estate landscape. However, this is debatably his largest and most challenging project in downtown Baton Rouge to date.
This may be an ambitious project, but it is not the only one of its kind around the country. There are many large-scale properties, once built for commercial real estate purposes, that are being converted to mixed-use properties. The change in the commercial landscape and the urban real estate demand have altered the landscape drastically. For business owners and residents alike, this should be a positive and revitalizing project for downtown Baton Rouge.
Source: theadvocate.com, "Wampold buys Chase South Tower in downtown Baton Rouge, will convert to residential, retail, offices," Timothy Boone, February 2, 2018