Two national engineering firms are moving their Baton Rouge operations into Perkins Rowe later this year, a move that will fill up nearly all of the available office space in the mixed-use development.

Neel-Schaffer will take up more than 14,000 square feet, while Gresham Smith and Partners will occupy just over 4,000 square feet, said Donna Taylor, of Stirling Properties, which manages Perkins Rowe. Both Neel-Schaffer and Gresham Smith will move into the building that houses Cinemark Theatre, LA Fitness and VooDoo BBQ.

Perkins Rowe, which was recently placed up for sale, has about 240,000 square feet of office space. With Neel-Schaffer and Gresham Smith coming in, Taylor said 99 percent of the office space in the development will be occupied.

Neel-Schaffer currently has an office at 12021 Bricksome Ave., off South Sherwood Forest Boulevard. Jerry Trumps, a senior vice president and Neel-Schaffer’s southwest region manager, said the move into Perkins Rowe will take place by the beginning of September.

Over the past year, Neel-Schaffer has hired “at least six engineers and technicians” to work in the Baton Rouge office, Trumps said. That brought the number of local employees up to 25.

“We ran out of space in that office, so that’s what prompted a move,” he said. “We’ve been planning a move for the past year, but the Baton Rouge office space market is pretty tight.”

Neel-Schaffer, which is based in Jackson, Mississippi, is one of the largest privately held engineering companies in the South. The company has 37 offices in nine states, including locations in Lafayette, New Orleans, Mandeville and Shreveport. Neel-Schaffer concentrates on civil, transportation, traffic, highway, bridge, structural, water/wastewater and hydraulic engineering.

Gresham Smith should move into Perkins Rowe toward the end of the third quarter, Taylor said. The company currently has an office on United Plaza Boulevard.

Gresham Smith, based in Nashville, Tennessee, provides architectural, engineering, interior design and planning services. Some of the company’s projects include designing Nissan North America’s headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, designing a new terminal for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and designing and constructing gates and pumping stations at the 17th Street and London Avenue Canal in New Orleans.

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