Eight teams, all with ties to Baton Rouge or New Orleans, have submitted proposals to redevelop the former Entergy site at 1509 Government St. in Baton Rouge.
“It looks like we have eight great teams,” said Gwen Hamilton, interim president and chief executive officer of the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority. Hamilton said she has not reviewed the applications, which are being passed along to Fregonese Associates, the Portland, Oregon-based group hired by the authority to write the request for proposals for the redevelopment of the Mid City site.
The teams that expressed interest in redeveloping the 6.1-acre site are:
- CLB Porter and Manning Architects, both from New Orleans. CLB Porter has done affordable housing developments in New Orleans.
- Columbia Residential, Atlanta and Block Companies, Baton Rouge. Columbia Residential has affordable housing developments in New Orleans, Texas and Georgia.
- Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corp., New Orleans, and Chenevert Architects, Baton Rouge. RNDC has affordable and senior housing developments in New Orleans, Houma and Shreveport.
- Fitch Development and Coleman Partners Architects, both from Baton Rouge. Fitch was involved in the development of The Creative Bloc shared-office space building in downtown Baton Rouge.
- Alembic Community Development, New Orleans. Alembic has done affordable housing developments in New Orleans and south Mississippi.
- Onsite Design, Charles Landry, Carbo Landscape Architecture and Ritter Maher Architects, all from Baton Rouge. Onsite has been involved in a number of infill developments in Baton Rouge, including E’Tage Gardens and Adelia at Goodwood Plantation.
- Vision City Development Group and Cyntreniks, both from Baton Rouge. Vision City is made up of principals from Cyntreniks, which was responsible for a number of redevelopment projects in downtown Baton Rouge, including the Hotel Indigo and Kress at Third & Main.
- Weinstein Nelson Development Team and Electric Depot, both from Baton Rouge. Weinstein Nelson is responsible for the redevelopment of a number of downtown properties, including the mixed-use 440 on Third building and the 500 Laurel St. office building.
Hamilton said she wasn’t surprised that virtually all of the interest in the site came from local or area companies. “The consultants basically said that’s who would be the respondents: highly competent local developers,” she said.
Fregonese is assembling a selection committee of five to seven people to review the applications. That team, which Hamilton said will be as “local as possible” and include a representative from the neighborhood around the Entergy site, will be finalized by the end of the week.
The team will make its recommendations to the RDA at its May 27 meeting. They could pass along a short list of finalists or narrow it one team. Either way, the RDA has said it hopes to select a developer for the property by June.
The goal is to select a team with a compelling vision for the Entergy site and a track record of successful developments of a similar nature.
That would include a balance of market-rate and affordable housing, along with retail and office space. The total value of the development is pegged at between $25 million and $35 million.
Redeveloping the Entergy site is a way to demonstrate the value of the RDA, Hamilton said. The organization is trying to secure a stable source of financing because it’s on track to run out of money by 2017.
“We’re working very hard for the community to understand that the RDA is up and running,” she said.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.