The Baton Rouge Area Chamber has put its downtown office building on the market, the first step in getting a new headquarters for the organization.
BRAC is asking for $1.25 million for the nearly 8,200-square-foot building at 564 Laurel St. That comes to nearly $153 per square foot. Beau Box Commercial Real Estate is listing the property as being ideal for office space, executive suites, governmental use or as a mixed-use building.
Getting a new office building has been a BRAC goal for years. At one point around 2006, the chamber and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation talked about constructing a mixed-use office building at the old Advocate site, which is now home to IBM. Later, there were discussions about BRAF moving to the old Capital One building downtown and BRAC would take over its space. The Capital One building eventually was sold and redeveloped as the mixed-use 440 on Third building. BRAF recently moved out of its building at Fourth and Laurel streets and into the IBM building. BRAF reportedly has a purchase agreement for its old offices, but no closing date has been set yet, and the potential buyer has not been disclosed.
Adam Knapp. BRAC president and CEO, said the organization doesn’t have a particular site in mind for its new offices at this time.
“We’re in the process of looking at options,” he said. “We want to find a space that fits the mission and the vision of our organization.”
The new offices will be a calling card for the business community and a place that introduces Baton Rouge to companies that are looking at expanding or relocating to the city, Knapp said. So the new site must represent that purpose.
Purchasing a building requires that BRAC sell its current space, so listing the building is the first step in finding a new location.
“We don’t know how long that process will take,” Knapp said. “We’re not sure how long it will take to sell the building.”
The BRAC building was completed in 1955 and renovated in 1985.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter @TCB_TheAdvocate