Cook: Valhalla under construction

Originally published in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Dantin Bruce Development has purchased a nearly 15-acre tract on the south side of Highland Road, at its intersection with Pecue Lane, for development of an upscale residential subdivision to be known as Valhalla.

The property was purchased Feb. 5 from The South Baton Rouge Church of Christ for $1.85 million, or about $125,000 per acre.

The tract was the source of controversy when another group tried to develop it with roughly 40 lots. Though the original developers had met all of the city-parish zoning requirements, local residents complained about traffic and drainage. As a result, the Planning and Zoning Committee denied the project, and the original developers abandoned the project rather than pursuing a lawsuit against the city-parish.

What Dantin Bruce has proposed is a much less dense development, with only 20 lots that measure 100 feet by about 200 feet and average about one half acre. It will be a gated community with a boulevard down the center, planted with live oak trees. The existing lake at the front of the development will be enlarged and improved with a fountain to serve as an entrance feature.

“We have not even listed the lots through MLS or put a sign up, but we have had 10 or 12 people approach us about purchasing a lot,” says Ross Bruce of Dantin Bruce. “We are quoting prices of around $350,000, if you buy before the development is complete. After that we expect to increase prices.”

Bruce indicates that the development entrance will line up with the intersection of Pecue Lane. “To be good neighbors we are going to improve the intersection of Pecue Lane and Highland Road, and make it more of a 90-degree turn, so it will be much safer when we are through,” he says.

The development will be a win for the city because of the improved intersection—at the expense of the developer—and 20 pricey homes that will increase the property tax base.

Someone should thank the development community instead of demonizing them all the time. Just saying.