Big-ticket commercial building projects, more home remodeling and an increase in homebuilding activity lifted the value of building permits issued in East Baton Rouge Parish by 52 percent for the first half of the year over 2013.

The value of building permits issued by the city-parish Department of Public Works Inspection Division through the end of June was $453 million, compared with $298 million in permits issued during the same period in 2013.

The total number of permits increased by 5.5 percent from 10,793 to 11,390.

The number of single-family home permits increased by 29.5 percent from 349 in 2013 to 452. The value of single-family homes was also up by 29.5 percent, going from nearly $88 million in the first half of 2013 to $113.9 million this year.

The number of residential additions and remodeling permits was up 15.8 percent from 505 in 2013 to 585. The value was up 17.2 percent, from nearly $16.8 million in 2013 to $19.6 million this year.

The value of commercial work was up almost 65 percent from $189.3 million in 2013 to nearly $311.8 million. The number of permits was down from 379 to 327.

Major commercial projects permitted in the second quarter included:

  • $58.6 million for the IBM Service Center development downtown. The project will contain the IBM Service Center, a four-story parking garage and the adjoining 525 Lafayette residential development, which will contain 85 luxury apartments and nine townhomes. The IBM building is set to open in April 2015, while the residences will open in the fall.
  • $50.6 million for The Standard at Baton Rouge, an apartment complex at 740 W. Chimes St. The project, which is being developed and built by Landmark Properties of Athens, Georgia, will contain 247 units, with amenities such as a parking garage with a rooftop pool. Landmark hopes to open The Standard in time for LSU’s fall 2015 semester.
  • $40 million for a commons building at Lee High School at 1105 Lee Drive. The building will house the cafeteria, kitchen, gym, locker rooms and performance rooms for the new Lee High, which is set to open in January 2016. The value of the entire Lee High complex is pegged at $54.5 million.
  • $9.7 million for a new commercial warehouse for Crescent Crown Distributing. The 112,000-square-foot warehouse at 9101 Tom Drive will be used by the beer distributor, which ships Miller, Coors, Abita and Samuel Adams across south Louisiana.
  • $7 million for the Holiday Inn Express Downtown. The 89-room hotel is going in the old Baton Rouge Savings & Loan Building at 400 North Blvd.

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