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