Valhalla receives green light from Planning Commission

Originally published in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Dantin Bruce Development received the green light Monday from the East Baton Rouge Parish  Planning Commission to begin Valhalla, a 20-lot development on a 15.4-acre tract on the site of the failed Heritage Oaks development.

Brian Dantin with Dantin Bruce Development says the company hopes to close on the property before the end of the year and begin construction early next year. He says the project should take about six months, and he hopes to presell some lots before breaking ground.

Valhalla will be a high-end gated community near the intersection of Highland Road and Pecue Lane with a single entrance and boulevard running through the center.

The project came under some scrutiny a few months ago when some homeowners in that part of Highland Road and Pecue Lane asked the Metro Council to authorize the Planning Commission to study possibly rezoning that area from rural to REA1 to stave off high-density developments in the area. Rural allows for seven homes per acre, while REA1 allows for just one home per acre.

The residents pointed to Heritage Oaks, a proposed high-density development that was twice voted down by the Planning Commission, as something they had opposed. Valhalla, a low-density development, would have been affected by the rezoning because the plan calls for 1.33 lots per acre.

Dantin spoke against the blanket rezoning at the meeting, saying the zoning change would affect everyone, including those who did not want their property rezoned. Dantin tells Daily Report this morning that he has not heard any news about the issue and has been told it is dead.

The item came up at the Nov. 10 meeting, and the council punted it to the Nov. 24 meeting. Council administrator Casey Cashio says the item was deleted from the Nov. 24 agenda at the meeting.

Planning Director Frank Duke has previously stated he would not endorse the zoning change if most of the residents in that area did not support it, saying he would be taking development rights from them.

 

—Ryan Broussard

Cook: Dantin Bruce sells first building in Offices at City Farm for $1.03M

Originally published in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Dantin Bruce Development has sold the first building in its Offices at City Farm development on Jefferson Highway, making a deal with Forty-Four Holdings LLC for $1.03 million. Cypress Title will move into the building by the end of the year.

The sale price for the 5,675-square-foot building comes out to about $182.20 per square foot, not including many of the building’s custom upgrade costs that were absorbed by the purchaser.

“We really think we sold the building too cheap, but the purchaser was our first deal and they committed to us quickly,” says Brian Dantin. “That is the reason for the sale price at only $182.20 (per square foot).”

Cypress Title, a commercial and residential title company, is currently located at 17170 Perkins Road, near the Highland Road intersection.

“We are really excited to relocate to this side of town,” says Jason Dupree, who co-owns the business with Johnny McKay and Bryan Denison.

Ritter Maher Architects designed the building and Kenneth Brown Design was responsible for the interior finish package. Tigue Bonneval with Audubon Real Estate Associates brokered the deal.

“The architectural design is unique for our area. It has a ‘business barn’ type feeling,” Bonneval says. “All the modern cutting edge colors and finishes yet it also incorporates old reclaimed planks on the walls.”

This is the first sale to take place within the Offices at City Farm since NAI/Latter & Blum announced in September that it also plans to relocate its offices to the development.

“We really don’t intend to sell any more buildings within the development at this time,” says Dantin. “Demand has been so strong that we are really only entertaining build-to-suit deals right now.”

-Tom Cook

Dantin Bruce pays $2.8M for 60 acres in Prairieville, plans Hidden Farms subdivision

Originally published in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Developers Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce have for years searched for a tract of land in Prairieville on which they could develop a new subdivision. On Tuesday, the co-owners of Dantin Bruce Development closed on a $2,790,105 deal for roughly 60 acres located just over the Ascension Parish line on which they’ll build Hidden Farms subdivision.

“We’ve been looking for quite a while for the right deal. We didn’t want to overpay and we feel this is a fair price,” Bruce says. “We feel like it’s the right deal at the right time.”

Hidden Farms will include 142 lots and will be built out in two phases, says Bruce. Work on the first phase, which will include 71 lots, is expected to begin next spring. The subdivision will be located on Brown Jr. Road, just off Old Jefferson Highway.

“The infrastructure work will take about six months to complete and then it will be another four or five months to get some homes up,” Bruce says. “Right around this time next year hopefully we’ll start to see some homes out there.”

There is no firm timeline for the second phase of the development, Bruce says, adding sales in the first phase will dictate further development. As for the homes within Hidden Farms, Bruce says specifics on price range and size have yet to be nailed down, but that the homes will be aimed at first- and second-time homebuyers.

The land, which is currently vacant except for some cows that graze on it, was not on the market, says Troy Collins of Sperry Van Ness/Graham, Langlois and Legendre, who brokered the deal along with his colleague Steve Legendre. When Legendre and Collins learned the owners were interested in selling the land, they contacted Dantin Bruce, knowing the firm was looking to build a subdivision in the area.

“The location and physical characteristics of the site made it an obvious candidate for single family development,” Collins says in a prepared statement. “The ongoing industrial expansion and quality school system continue to fuel the demand for quality residential development in Ascension Parish.”

—Steve Sanoski

Property Acquired for Prairieville Developlment

Originally published in The Advocate 

Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce have purchased 60 acres of land near Prairieville to build Hidden Farms, a 142-lot development, in the spring.

DB Hidden Farms LLC bought the 60-acre site on Brown Jr. Road near Old Jefferson Highway in Prairieville for nearly $2.8 million, according to Troy Collins and Steve Legendre, of Sperry Van Ness | Graham, Langlois & Legendre, who brokered the sale.

Collins said the land was assembled from seven separate tracts.

Hidden Farms will feature amenities such as lakes and parks. The pricing for homes in the development are still being worked through, but Bruce said Hidden Farms will be aimed at people buying their first or second home.

Plans are to have the first homes in Hidden Farms ready for the fall. The development will be built out in two phases of 71 lots each.

''We feel great about the location,'' Bruce said. ''Demand has been pretty consistent in Ascension, especially on the northern end of the parish.''

''The ongoing industrial expansion and quality school system continue to fuel the demand for quality residential development in Ascension Parish,'' Collins said.

Dantin and Bruce have built a number of developments in East Baton Rouge Parish, including The Offices at City Farm, a 60,000-square-foot office park under construction on Jefferson Highway; The 333 Lofts, a condominium complex outside the South Gates of LSU; and The Magnolia Lakes development on Burbank Drive, between Staring Lane and Lee Drive.

-From Staff, Wire Reports

Lack of developable land will likely push Baton Rouge toward infill projects in the coming decade

 

Originally published in Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

After decades of rapid real estate development, especially in south Baton Rouge, a major factor has emerged.

“There’s just not a lot of available land,” says Brian Dantin, a partner at Bruce Dantin Development. “And what is available is really expensive.”

Consequently, the city may finally be turning inward, with more developers considering the infill, or older neighborhoods close to the urban core, as the site of future projects. Dantin predicts a larger number of in-town developments that will appeal to both young professionals relocating to the heart of Baton Rouge and recent LSU graduates eager to live beyond campus.

Dantin shared his prediction as part of a panel of eight community leaders who recently sat down for an editorial roundtable discussion with 225 as part of the magazine’s 10th anniversary issue.

225 publisher Julio Melara, editor Jennifer Tormo and contributing writer Maggie Heyn Richardson recently met with Dantin and the others and asked them to predict what the next 10 years will look like for public education, food and entertainment, health care and more in Baton Rouge.

On the real estate front, density will be an important factor in new developments, says Dantin, but don’t look for them to be high-rises. To maintain the right balance of construction costs and rent revenues, the sweet spot might just be 30- to 40-unit courtyard-style complexes that still manage to feel like neighborhoods.

Traditional neighborhood developments that package retail with housing, such as Perkins Rowe and The Settlement at Willow Grove, will continue to flourish, says Dantin, pointing to The Preserve at Harveston, Rouzan and Long Farm Village as spots where many families will choose to live.

Read the full feature for more from the panel, which included Renee Chatelain, president and CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge; Byron Clayton, president and CEO of the Research Park Corp.; Warren Drake, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools superintendent; Jay Ducote, Bite and Booze blogger and Food Network Star finalist; John Gray, musician and teacher; and Gaylynne Mack, executive director of the Big Buddy Program.

And be sure to check out more stories from the 225 cover package, including a rundown of pivotal moments in Baton Rouge from the last 10 years, as well as a look at 10 places that changed the landscape of the city and several projects in the works now that are poised to further change the landscape. Send your comments to editor@225batonrouge.com.

-Daily Report Staff

Cozy Apartment Redefines College Campus Living with Nifty Functionality!

Originally published in Decoist

The apartment style housing for those on college campus who wish to (and can afford to) shun the dorm room is an option that is not just popular but on the rise. It is often a band of friends coming together to rent their own little apartment that ends up eventually as an absolute mess and you are left fishing for your stuff under a layer of trash. (Unless you are smart enough to have a clean freak around in your bunch!) But this cool and elegant apartment designed by Kenneth Brown Design and nestled near the University of Louisiana campus at Baton Rouge aims to change this stereotype by presenting a fresh take on lifestyle on the college campus.

The design of the apartment and its décor is effectively simple and aims at presenting both practical and budget-friendly options for those looking at college campus apartments. As one would expect, there is not a lot of space on offer and the living area, kitchen and dining are rolled into one with effortless ease. A couch in white, a small coffee table and a large bookshelf grace the living area with the chalkboard walls in the kitchen serving as fun bulletin board for everyone. Pretentious décor and finishes are shunned in favor of versatile furniture and surfaces that can take wear and tear.

The design of the bedroom is another interesting aspect with each bedroom having a personality of its own. So, whether you hunting for your first off-campus apartment or wish to give your existing shared apartment a quick overhaul, here is an inspiration that encourages you to think beyond the usual!

-Sherry Nothingam

Dantin Bruce planning high-end, low-density development on site of failed Heritage Oaks

Originally published in Baton Rouge Business Report

Dantin Bruce Development is planning a 20-lot subdivision on a 15.4-acre tract at Highland Road and Pecue Lane that earlier this year was the site proposed for Heritage Oaks, a much denser residential development that was denied by the Planning Commission amid neighborhood opposition.

The new development will be called Valhalla and will be a high-end gated community of lots that average slightly more than half an acre each. A boulevard will run through the center of the development, which will have a single entry. Custom builders will develop the individual lots, according to Brian Dantin of Dantin Bruce.

Dantin Bruce has a purchase agreement for the property with its current owner, South Baton Rouge Church of Christ. If the Planning Commission approves the plans for Valhalla, the developers will move forward with the acquisition.

Earlier this year, local developer Larry Jordan also had a purchase agreement on the property and, like Dantin Bruce, planned a residential development on the site. However, nearby residents opposed his original plans, which called for 46 lots, as well as revised plans, which scaled the number of lots back to 39.

Twice the Planning Commission deferred action on the matter, which prompted Jordan in June to sue the commission and force it to take action. The commission did, voting in August to deny his application. His purchase agreement with the church subsequently expired.    

Dantin says he has had some conversations with neighborhood residents and understands their concerns about the density and increased traffic that new development in the area will bring. However, he believes Valhalla, because of its low density, will be a good fit for the area.

“I think people in the area understand what we want to do, and I think it’s a great plan,” he says.

The Planning Commission will take up the matter at its Nov. 16 meeting. Also at that meeting, the commission will take up a rezoning request for the former Capital City Grill location at 3535 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. that would clear the way for a new craft beer bar and sports restaurant called Tap House. The commission will also take up an application from Salsbury’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to allow for a dealership and repair shop on a 12.2-acre tract on Airline Highway, just south of Interstate 12.

—Stephanie Riegel

College Campus Living at Baton Rouge

Originally published in HomeDSGN

This stylish apartment is located near the University of Louisiana campus at Baton Rouge, LouisianaUSA.

Designed by Kenneth Brown Design, it is intended to bring a fresh perspective to college campus living.

-Magaly

 

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Sales are strong at recently completed 333 Flats condo project near LSU

Originally published in Baton Rouge Business Report

It’s been a busy few months for Dantin Bruce Developments.

While the company is in the initial stages of its new Offices at City Farm office park on Jefferson Highway along with more than a half-dozen other projects, construction has finished on 333 Flats, the companion high-end condominiums to 333 Lofts on East Boyd Drive between Burbank Drive and Highland Road—and just in time for the fall semester at nearby LSU.

“It’s the best time to finish,” says Brian Dantin, one of the developers on the project near the LSU South Gates that broke ground last summer.

Twenty-four of the 36 units in the three-story development are sold—including two that were pre-sold—leaving several two-bedroom units, two studio condos, one three-bedroom unit and a four-bedroom unit. All the single-bedroom units have been sold, Dantin says.

“It’s been very successful,” Dantin says.

The floor plans in 333 Flats offer more variety than the units in its sister building, which only has two- and three-bedroom choices among its 28 units. The prices range from about $150,000 for the studio condos to $250,000 for the two-bedroom condos to $300,000 for the three-bedroom condo and $397,000 for the lone four-bedroom condo in the building.

Dantin says the gated condominiums are well protected, with a security card needed to access the interior corridor, something he says is sure to appease the security-conscious parent. Dantin has said the impetus for the adjacent condominium complexes was the lack of secure student-friendly condos near LSU. The interior corridor, meanwhile, features a fireplace, barbecue pit, mailboxes and private patios.

—Ryan Broussard

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MESH is a nationally recognized advertising agency and marketing firm specializing in integrated branding and marketing strategy. We have proven expertise in brand building, strategic account leadership, advertising, creative services, PR and traditional and digital media. We’ve provided professional, creative solutions to clients in a wide variety of industries – from music to architectural materials, from home and garden to healthcare, to food and beverage – and much more.

NAI/Latter & Blum moving Baton Rouge headquarters to Offices at City Farm

Originally published in Baton Rouge Business Report

Commercial and residential real estate giant NAI/Latter & Blum will be moving its Baton Rouge headquarters to Dantin Bruce Development’s new Offices at City Farm office park on Jefferson Highway near Towne Center. It will take about eight to nine months for the build-out on the 18,500-square-foot building that is in the design phase and is scheduled to break ground in November.

NAI/Latter & Blum’s director of commercial sales and leasing in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Karl Landreneau, says the new office park’s location was among the reasons it was attracted to the site.

“We think it’s a centralized location, one of the class A locations in the city, and quite frankly our brokerage company is growing and outgrew our current location,” Landreneau says, adding the new location will be about 50% larger than the company’s current headquarters located at 10455 Jefferson Hwy.

The company has been searching for a new headquarters space for about a year and wanted a new development, not something that required renovations, Landreneau says. The new Jefferson Highway location is a perfect fit, he notes, because of its proximity to interstates 10 and 12, as well as Airline Highway.

NAI/Latter & Blum will occupy about 15,700 square feet in the building, which leaves about 2,800 square feet that will be leased out for retail or office space, says Brian Dantin, who is developing the park with business partner Ross Bruce.

The firm’s new building is one of two in the office park that is under contract, with the other being for Cypress Title, a commercial and residential title company currently located at 17170 Perkins Road, near the Highland Road intersection. Cypress Title’s 5,800-square-foot building should be finished in mid-October, says Dantin.

Johnny McKay, an attorney and one of the owners of Cypress Title, says one of the factors in the decision to move was the fact that there are no other title firms in that area. The owners had been casually looking for a new space for three years after outgrowing the company’s current location, he says.

Dantin says a lease will also be finalized soon with a third company on a 5,000-square-foot space adjacent to the Cypress Title building.

“So far, it has kind of sold itself,” Dantin says of the new development.

Open space in the rear of the development is being leased for about $20 per square foot, while the open space in the NAI/Latter & Blum building is being marketed at about $25 per square foot. Those prices could change depending on the type of company and the build-out, Dantin says.

The design of the buildings by local architecture firm Ritter Maher is what Dantin calls a “modern farmhouse design,” with metal roofs, farmhouse-type light fixtures, barn doors and open space with natural lighting. A planned second phase of the project will feature another three to four buildings totaling about 30,000 square feet. All the locations are build-to-suit.

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MESH is a nationally recognized advertising agency and marketing firm specializing in integrated branding and marketing strategy. We have proven expertise in brand building, strategic account leadership, advertising, creative services, PR and traditional and digital media. We’ve provided professional, creative solutions to clients in a wide variety of industries – from music to architectural materials, from home and garden to healthcare, to food and beverage – and much more.

Dantin Bruce Buys Nearly 90 Acres on Burbank for new Hunter's Trace Residential Subdivision

Originally Published in Baton Rouge Business Report

Dantin Bruce Development has closed on a $4.65 million deal for nearly 90 acres on Burbank Drive—where the Kenilworth Parkway extension could eventually intersect—on which a roughly 250-home subdivision called Hunter’s Trace is planned.

“We have all of the approvals we need, and we’ll be starting dirt work hopefully this week,” says Brian Dantin, who owns Dantin Bruce along with his business partner, Ross Bruce.

Dantin says the area is attractive for a number of reasons, including its proximity to LSU and the planned Kenilworth extension.

“We follow the market very closely, and there are very few new construction homes available in that area in the $200,000 to $225,000 range,” Dantin says. “So, we feel like the market there is very strong and—especially once they extend Kenilworth through there—will be even stronger as it provides for greater access to Essen (Lane) and the hospitals, and it really ties into the center of town.”

Dantin says the exact price range for homes in Hunter’s Trace has not been set, adding they will likely be offered “in the $200,000s.” Likewise, exact square footage of average homes has not been decided yet. He says the subdivision will be similar to Magnolia Lakes, which Dantin Bruce developed about a mile south of where Hunter’s Trace will be located on Burbank.

Another road connecting Highland Road to Burbank, possibly via Kenilworth, is a part of the city-parish Green Light Plan for traffic improvements. Along with Kenilworth, nearby Seyburn Drive is also being considered as a possible location for the extension, according to the Green Light Plan website.

Under Hunter Trace LLC, Dantin Bruce purchased the land for Hunter’s Trace from The Gulf Rouge Limited Partnership, which has a mailing address of Playa Del Rey, California. The selling partnership’s manager is Parkash Kaur Sehdeva, according to sale documents.

See the Planning Commission staff report on the Hunter’s Trace development, which includes a map and proposed layout of the subdivision.

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Mesh Development

MESH is a nationally recognized advertising agency and marketing firm specializing in integrated branding and marketing strategy. We have proven expertise in brand building, strategic account leadership, advertising, creative services, PR and traditional and digital media. We’ve provided professional, creative solutions to clients in a wide variety of industries – from music to architectural materials, from home and garden to healthcare, to food and beverage – and much more.