Wampold Companies, of Baton Rouge, has acquired the 16-story Elks Building, 144 Elks Place, one-half block off Canal Street, in New Orleans.

“We plan to take our time and evaluate our options, which include re-leasing the building as office space, creating a combination of residential and office space or converting the entire building to residential with retail on the first floor,” said Mike Wampold, chief executive officer of Wampold Companies.  “We even have some interest from a few hotel brands.”

The 130,000-square-foot building, which was built in 1975, is designed with eight floors of office space containing 15,000 square feet per floor.  Below the office space is an eight-floor parking deck with more than 200 parking spaces. 

The building’s first floor is approximately 10,000 square feet and opens onto Elks Place and South Rampart Street. It is near the South Market District of New Orleans, along the new Loyola Avenue streetcar expansion line. 

“With the new streetcar line, the nearby Saenger Theatre and Joy Theater undergoing renovation, as well as the development of the new South Market District, this area is primed to become a fast-growing and successful retail, residential and business community,” Wampold said.  

Wampold, who recently acquired the Quality Suites Hotel on Bluebonnet Boulevard in Baton Rouge, is also the developer and owner of the 256-room Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel, under construction along the Bluebonnet Boulevard corridor.

It is scheduled for a late September 2011 opening.