The local developers of the Harveston community near Nicholson Drive and Bluebonnet Boulevard want to set up an economic development district to help finance a mixed-use development phase of the project.
The expansion would feature retail, office space, apartments and family entertainment in addition to a K-12 charter school, gym, retirement community, church and grocery store, according to city-parish metro council agenda documents.
If the district is approved at the Dec. 11 Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council meeting, 2% of future sales taxes generated by commercial businesses within the new development would go toward paying off financing for the development through a subsidy process that is called tax increment financing.
The additional development would be on undeveloped land near a growing commercial corridor of retail centers being built along Bluebonnet on the north side just below Highland Road.
Harveston has been in the works for years as an overall 1,400-acre project by developers Mike Wampold and John Fetzer, and was formerly known as Longwood Village. The developers envisioned a community that would include a 600-acre nature preserve, pedestrian trails and as many as 2,500 homes, which cost more than $300,000 each.
The first phase of the project included a nearly 100 single-family home community known as The Preserve at Harveston. The mixed-use development is in the next phase of the overall project.
"This will bring the much-needed ability for neighborhood shopping within the district and all surrounding areas ....," the document said. "The developer also plans to have this designated as a crime prevention district and will offer space for a sheriff’s substation, along with a site for a fire department," the document said.
The development is expected to require "significant investment" in a largely residential area, the developers gave as the rationale for receiving tax incentives.
District 3 council member Chandler Loupe is bringing up matter at next week's meeting. The proposed development is located within the boundaries of the new city of St. George that voters recently carved out of East Baton Rouge Parish.