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

-Daily Report Staff