The Long Farm neighborhood continues to move forward.

The latest piece, an upscale 276-unit apartment complex that will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, got the OK from the City-Parish Planning Commission recently, paving the way for an anticipated 2015 opening for the Columns at Long Farm.

Michael Thomassie, the civil engineer for the project, said the Columns will be a luxury apartment complex with 13 buildings plus a clubhouse. Atlanta-based ECI Group, which has apartments throughout the Southeast, is behind the property.

Its construction will affect wetlands — a portion on the site will be filled, Thomassie said, so the developer is paying mitigation credits.

The apartments represent the latest piece in the ongoing development of the property between Airline and Jefferson highways. The Long Farm Village traditional neighborhood development has been taking shape after years of planning.

Most of the 65 lots in the first phase are under contract, developer Russell Mosely recently told The Advocate. A second phase of 56 lots and third phase of 40 lots also are moving ahead.

The 237-acre development is being built on a tract of farmland assembled in the early 1960s by Mosely’s grandfather, the late U.S. Sen. Russell Long.

Developers have said the Long Farm apartments will help bring in more retail and office tenants.

Long Farm’s long-term plans call for about 400 single-family homes, as many as 1,100 apartment or townhouse units and 690,000 square feet of office, commercial and retail space.

Rouses Market is expected to put its first Baton Rouge store in the Long Farm village.

Advocate business reporter Timothy Boone contributed to this report.

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