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John Engquist has purchased a 1.3 acre tract of land between River Road and Lafayette Street for $5.7 million and plans to develop the site.

“It’s arguably the best piece of property downtown,” said Engquist, the former chief executive officer of H&E Equipment and one of the principals of the Rouzan and Americana developments. “It’s a shame that you’ve got that on the Mississippi River and it hasn’t been developed.”

The Prairieville custom home builders bought the lots in a deal that was filed Wednesday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office. The seller was the Sanctuary, represented by developer Corbin Ladner.

The developers of Drakes Landing, a 216-unit affordable housing development in Melrose East, have closed a deal to purchase a 26 acre site on North Ardenwood Drive and obtained building permits.

Drakes Landing Apartments LP paid $1.5 million for the land, according to documents filed with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office last week. The seller was Baton Rouge Realty Company Limited. Michael Cashio and Ty Gose, both of NAI/Latter & Blum, represented both buyer and the seller.

Drakes Landing Apartments LP is a partnership set up by LDG Multifamily, a Louisville, Kentucky, affordable housing developer. LDG has said it wants to build a complex with 96 two-bedroom units, 96 three-bedrooms and 24 one-bedroom. According to a building permit issued by the city parish on Monday, the apartments will be spread over nine buildings, all within the 800 block of North Ardenwood.

Most of the units will be set aside for people who earn no more than 60% of the area median household income, which will target people working jobs such as construction, medical assistant, maintenance, retail sales, childcare workers and security guards.

LDG owns four affordable housing complexes in Baton Rouge: the 192-unit Mallard Crossing Apartments at 11320 Greenwell Springs Road; the 48-unit Wood Crest Apartments at 1682 N. Lobdell Ave.; the 192-unit Port Royal Apartments at 6454 Airline Highway; and The Meadows at Nicholson, a 204-unit development at 11777 Nicholson Drive.


Email Timothy Boone at tboone@theadvocate.com.