Vacant orange-brick buildings pocked with broken windows on the former Entergy site on Government Street will get new life as an entertainment venue, bowling alley, pizza parlor with microbrewery, healthy living center and 16 apartments.
“There is a high level of excitement for this,” said John Noland, who hopes what has been dubbed the Electric Depot “turns on the lights for that section of Government Street.”
The East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, which Noland chairs, was given the property in 2013 by Entergy. The RDA has been pushing private redevelopment of the site as a catalyst for more activity in a neighborhood that is a heavily traveled transition area between downtown and Mid City.
The redevelopment project is pegged at $20 million. Dyke Nelson of Weinstein Nelson Development unveiled plans for the 6.1-acre property at 1509 Government St. at the RDA board of commissioners meeting Wednesday. The initial development already is 80 percent leased, he said.
Weinstein Nelson has been involved in a number of redevelopment projects across Baton Rouge, including the mixed-use 440 on Third building and the 500 Laurel St. site that are downtown.
The plans unveiled Wednesday are the first phase of the Electric Depot development. Nelson said there are "loose plans" for more than 100 housing units and more retail space. But the reaction of the market to the first phase will determine how much retail and office space will be included in future stages, he said.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Redevelopment Authority voted Friday to negotiate with a team le…
The centerpiece will be Red Stick Social, a multi-level entertainment facility that will feature a bowling alley, a stage for live music, a kitchen and bar, and rooftop garden. The venue will be open to the public, and will be available for private parties and corporate events. Red Stick Social will be operated by Robert Lay, Trey Williams and Stephen Hightower. Williams and Hightower are owners of the popular local restaurants City Pork and Southfin Southern Poke.
The second building will have 16 one-bedroom apartments on top of 12,000 square feet of speculative retail space. Three of the apartments will be affordable housing, while the 13 other units will rent for under $1,000 a month, Nelson said.
A “restaurant and entertainment venue with bowling” is one element that a team redeveloping …
The third building will be occupied by a yoga and cycling studio, along with a place selling healthy food. Nelson said the tenants for the space will be announced “relatively soon."
“It’s two groups with a great deal of experience in that area,” he said.
The tenant for the fourth building also will be announced soon, Nelson said. This will be a pizza parlor that will sell beer brewed on the site.
The plans for the first two buildings in the Electric Depot will go out to bid in the next week. Construction should start "very soon," Nelson said.
Weinstein Nelson has said it wants the Electric Depot to be a “multi-generational, multicultural, mixed-income facility that accommodates all types of people.” Nelson's architecture firm, DNA Workshop, has its offices within a block of the property. The company has acquired additional land around the Entergy site it wants to redevelop. At Wednesday's meeting, the RDA approved transferring two abandoned lots it had acquired at the corner of Brice and Spain streets to Weinstein Nelson for housing development.
Weinstein Nelson's team for the Electric Depot has a number of design and development partners, including CB&I Environmental and Infrastructure, Joseph Furr Design Studio, Stantec engineering, Anthony Kimble, Garrett Temple, Helena Cunningham, Dennis Blunt, Jennifer Jones, the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church Foundation, former Community Coffee CEO Matt Saurage, and Todd Stevens, president and CEO of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
Editors note: This story was changed on May 18 to correctly list the members of the Electric Depot team.