The firm was selected by Commercial Properties Realty Trust to represent its leasing needs. Commercial Properties, the real estate arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, is developing and managing the Water Campus between downtown and LSU. The organization also manages Bon Carré, which is home for tenants such as Cox Communications and Venyu, a data center operator.
Michael J. Siegel, president of Corporate Realty, said he is thrilled to help implement Commercial Properties’ vision for the two developments.
The Water Campus is being kicked off with three buildings: the headquarters for both the Water Institute of the Gulf and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the River Modeling Center.
But Siegel said the three buildings, which should open by 2016, are “just a toe in the water.” A broader vision for the Water Campus exists, one that calls for 10 to 15 buildings with a million square feet of office and research space.
“Ultimately, you’ll have a little bit of everything. Engineering and construction firms, governmental agencies, any public or private groups having something to do with coastal erosion or water conservation,” he said. “You’ll have design and construction firms wanting to be part of this once the ball starts rolling.”
Unlike the Water Campus, Siegel said most of Bon Carré is occupied by tenants. In November, it was disclosed that the 850,000-square-foot center was 90 percent occupied. “Commercial Properties has done a good job of redeveloping; we want to help take them to the next level,” he said.
Along with offering ample parking, there are some blocks of vacant space that are about 30,000 to 35,000 square feet. This is at a time when vacant office space in Baton Rouge is at a premium, Siegel said.