Dantin Bruce buys residential portion of new Bluebonnet, Burbank development



Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce, with Dantin Bruce Real Estate, have acquired nearly 30 acres off Bluebonnet Boulevard and Burbank Drive for $2.3 million. 

The property will be part of a planned mixed-use development called Bellegrove Square and  will feature roughly 117 Dantin Bruce Real Estate-built homes that will be priced between $250,000 and $275,000. The site was approved last month by the Metro Council to be used as a residential neighborhood. 

Bruce says they don’t know what size the homes will be or when construction may begin, but they’ve begun clearing the land and have applied for permits to install infrastructure and roadwork for the property. He hopes to begin selling homes in early 2021, though he’s unsure if the homes will be presold or sold as completed. 

“I think homebuyers these days are looking for convenience and amenities that are nearby,” Bruce says. “We think this development will bring that and add more to the existing Bluebonnet and Burbank area.” 

Dantin and Bruce bought the property from Mostafa and Donna Khosravanipour, who were represented in the transaction by David Trusty, of Trusty Commercial Property.

Trusty is also representing an adjoining 30 acres of Bellegrove Square, which he’s working to split and sell as four separate parcels to be used for office, multifamily and commercial retail. He’s received two letters of intent from interested parties and is talking with several others, including a few “out-of-town” restaurant groups that would be new to the market. 

He’s aiming to have the commercial partners set in stone by October 2020, with construction starting possibly early 2021.

Dantin, Bruce buy office condos near I-12 for $1.3 million



Developers Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce have purchased an office condominium park near Interstate 12 for $1.3 million with plans to make improvements to the property.

The two men bought Interline Plaza, which consists of four office buildings and a storage unit at 9111, 9121, 9131 and 9151 Interline Ave. The offices total nearly 35,100 square feet and the storage units are 4,415 square feet. A fifth office building in the park was not part of the sale. The seller was Interline Plaza LLC of Baton Rouge.

Lynn Daigle, an agent with NAI/Latter & Blum, who represented the seller, said the selling point for the property is its location along I-12, between the Airline Highway and Drusilla exits. “There are a lot of executive suites,” she said. “This has been a launching pad for a lot of people who started a business and needed professional office space. They’ve used it to accelerate into something larger.”

The property is about 65% occupied, Daigle said.

Dantin and Bruce bought Interline Plaza as an investment. They plan on doing exterior work to the grounds and making updates to the common areas, she said. The development was built in the 1980s. “This property is in the right hands,” Daigle said. “They’re going to do a fabulous job bringing it up to date.”

The Mercantile offices break ground on Bluebonnet



Dantin Bruce Development has broken ground on The Mercantile, a new garden-style office development on Bluebonnet Boulevard near Jefferson Highway.

The development—a mix of leased and owned properties—will consist of eight buildings over 38,800 square feet. Five of the buildings have been committed to be leased or purchased, according to Ross Bruce, and three of the committed buildings are set to begin construction soon. Office space ranges between 2,500 and 6,000 square feet.

Lease space in the development is still available for rates between $23 and $24 per square foot, according to Bruce.

“For many years, the Bluebonnet corridor has been highly desirable,” Bruce says. “We saw an opportunity to build a modern office development right in heart of Baton Rouge.”

Dantin Bruce Development and Assurance Financial will be among the tenants of the new development.

The development, designed by Ritter Maher Architects, will feature modern farmhouse-style architecture with steel entry doors, exposed wooden beams, natural stone floors, and steel and glass interior finishes. The offices will be similar in style to City Farm on Jefferson Highway, which was also developed by Dantin Bruce Development.

“We’ve been trying to redesign what office parks look like,” says Scott Ritter of Ritter Maher Architects. “We’re changing the dynamic of what Baton Rouge expects from their office.”

Bruce anticipates the first building in The Mercantile to be finished next summer and the rest of the development to be completed by the end of 2019.

Cook: Country Club Place taking off



Dantin Bruce Development has begun to close lots in its acquisition of Country Club Place, which was originally developed by Nanette Noland’s business, Brentwood Development Company.

The original idea was to develop an upscale townhouse community at the corner of Brentwood and Kensington drives, overlooking the Baton Rouge Country Club, and sell them in the $1 million to $1.5 million dollar range. Five of the 25 lots were improved with homes. But the development didn’t catch on and 14 of the remaining lots were purchased by Dantin Bruce for $1.55 million. The purchase price works out to about $111,000 per lot.

“We recognized that the townhouse concept was not viable, so we converted the 14 lots into nine single-family detached lots with about 50 feet of frontage,” says Brian Dantin, adding that converting the lots only required the relocation of some utilities. “The road improvements were already in place and all the lots have rear alley access, so we thought it was an excellent buy given the location.”

The original developer spared no expense, with the development including private parks with architectural features, brick paved streets, road improvements, rear alleys, good quality landscaping, fencing and—of course—gated access. The total investment in the nine lots is around $175,000 per lot.

“We closed one lot and have two under contract,” Dantin says.

Lots overlooking the Baton Rouge Country Club golf course are being marketed for $350,000 and the remaining lots are offered for $275,000. Common area grounds maintenance will continue to be done by Massengale Landscape, and homeowners association dues will maintain for both the townhouses and the new detached lots, so the purchaser will enjoy the low maintenance of a townhouse or condo with the benefit of a single-family residence.

“The development is generating a lot of interest, primarily from folks who want to build a custom home,” Dantin says, adding he expects to sell the remaining six lots soon.

Bluebonnet office sells

Doing business as Ross Investments Properties LLC, Michael Ross has purchased a 2,952-square-foot office at 4220 Bluebonnet Blvd. for $583,000, or $197.50 per square foot. The building serves as the main office of the Dantin Bruce Development empire, which intends to lease the property back from the purchaser for a year.

“We think we will relocate into our new proposed development on Bluebonnet almost directly across the street, which we have named Mercantile Office Park,” says Ross Bruce.

The sale price per square foot is one of the higher ones paid for an existing office on Bluebonnet, and it reflects the higher quality of the building. The deal closed on Jan. 15, and Ross was represented by Robert Pettit with Waters and Pettit Real Estate.

Tom Cook of Cook, Moore and Associates has been an independent real estate appraiser for more than 20 years.

News roundup: Dantin and Bruce buy 14 Country Club Place lots for $1.55M …


DECEMBER 21, 2017

Done deal: Developers Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce have purchased 14 townhome lots in Country Club Place Residences on Brentwood Drive near Jefferson Highway for $1.55 million. The seller is Brentwood Development Company, a limited liability company managed by The Powell Group. Dantin and Bruce have converted the properties into nine single-family, detached lots and are offering them for sale. Buyers will be able to select their own homebuilders, Dantin says.

Dantin Bruce constructing new residential project near LSU



OCTOBER 12, 2017


The developers behind LSU area residential complexes such as 333 Lofts and 333 Flats are preparing to break ground on their next project: The Court at East Boyd, which will see six condos go up on East Boyd Drive between Burbank Drive and Highland Road.

The development is expected to be completed next summer, says Brian Dantin of Dantin Bruce Development. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom condos will measure about 1,000 square feet each, and be priced around $260,000. Two are already under contract, Dantin says.

“It’s a niche development,” he says. “We’ve always seen over the past years that not everyone wants to live in these large mega-complexes.”

Additionally, Dantin Bruce is finishing the last three townhouses at Perkins Lane, a 24-unit development in the Southdowns neighborhood. The project should be complete by the end of the year, Dantin says.

Along with 333 Lofts and 333 Flats, which are both located on East Boyd Drive, Dantin Bruce has developed the Offices at City Farm on Jefferson Highway as well as Valhalla subdivision on Highland Road near the Pecue Lane intersection.

—Alexandria Burris


5 faces to watch: Some of the hottest young real estate developers in the Baton Rouge market.


Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce

Co-owners, Dantin Bruce Development

Signature project: City Farm is an office space with a modern farmhouse concept on Jefferson Highway, adjacent to Whole Foods and Towne Center.

Year started: 2015

Cost: $10.5 million to develop; $13.5 million value.

At 11:30 a.m. on any given weekday, either Brian Dantin or Ross Bruce will receive a text from the other with one simple word: “Lunch?”

The duo has spent the past nine years working together, developing land for their company Dantin Bruce Development. Their industry is fast-paced and competitive and they often find themselves in a Venn diagram of partnership, either making decisions on their own or overlapping to jointly discuss company business.

But by the afternoon, their thoughts turn to food and they head out to one of their favorite Baton Rouge restaurants, often J. Alexander’s, Albasha, New York Bagel Company or BRQ Restaurant.

“Every day is centered around a good lunch,” says the 39-year-old Dantin. “We don’t stop working when we are in the office but lunch is the one time that we can just unwind and relax.”

The duo met through Dantin’s wife and Bruce’s first cousin, Rebekah. Dantin was developing land with other companies while Bruce had just sold an oil field company. While the timing was right and the partnership worked, it was 2008, and the economy was tough.

“Bruce and I started in the worst time for real estate,” says Dantin. “The biggest challenge was financing. When we first got together, the banks stopped lending money to anyone.”

But they persevered, found a great group of anonymous investors and began building their brand.

Dantin Bruce is a turnkey company, meaning they work with their clients from land development, construction and through interior design to finish a residential or commercial project. They have developed City Farm, an office space with a modern farm house concept inspired by real estate Dantin saw in Napa Valley, California, as well as Valhalla, luxury homes with large lots off Highland Road, 333 Flats, a residential community near LSU, and Perkins Lane, a transitional neighborhood development.

Their partnership and ability to walk a client through every aspect of building a home has made them successful.

“Our clients like dealing with just the two of us. We are not a big company,” says Dantin. “They know that these guys can find us the best piece of property, the best builders and the best designers and it’s a seamless approach.”

Adds Bruce, “We have a hands-on approach and pay attention to detail.”

Dantin grew up in Baton Rouge and graduated from LSU with a degree in business and marketing. He’s the creative half of the duo, says Bruce, and a strong salesman.

“He brings good looks and charm to the team,” Bruce jokes. “But seriously, Brian knows the market better. He is in front of me making the deals and I’m behind him finishing them up.”

While Dantin seems to always be smiling, Bruce is more stoic and focused on the financial part of the business. A native of the small town of Cut Off, Bruce graduated from Nicholls State University with a degree in finance and accounting.

They both enjoy vacationing at the beaches along Florida’s Highway 30A and spending time with their families.

Dantin and Rebekah have two boys, Charlie, 11, and William, 8, while Bruce and wife, Marsha, have three girls, Alaina, 19, Addison, 16 and Avery, 12.

And they know the success of their business is because they work well together and always stop for lunch.

“I think we both feel extremely blessed to have this partnership,” says Bruce. “We never had a fight or an argument and we support each other. I never thought about doing anything else with anyone else.”

No. 1 on the List: Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Originally published in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

JUNE 15, 2017

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has the top spot in Business Report’s latest ranking of financial investment firms by the amount of local assets under management.

The wealth management and investment firm, headquartered in New York, holds nearly $5.7 billion in local assets. The firm has grown in recent years, driven by an increase in Baton Rouge-area clients with investments of $250,000 or more.

Earlier this year, Merrill Lynch opened a second Baton Rouge office at 1800 City Farm Drive to accommodate its staff. Donald Minor, the firm’s associate market manager, says Merrill Lynch had reached capacity at its downtown Baton Rouge office, with some leadership team members working out a conference room. The City Farm office, populated with more established advisers, is at 95% capacity, he said, while the firm’s downtown office is 85% occupied.

Annual data Merrill Lynch receives projects the segment of the Baton Rouge market that has $250,000 or more—or those who require more complicated financial solutions—to grow about 12% over a five-year period, with $1 million clients to grow 5% over the same period.

Rounding out the top four spots on the list: Morgan Stanley with $4.3 billion in assets; Raymond James & Associates with $2 billion; Wells Fargo Advisors and GWM Advisors, both with $1.5 billion

See the current issue of Business Report for the full ranking of financial investment firms


Originally published in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Alexandria Burris | @allyburris

February 27, 2017

Level Construction and Development LLC has bought 34 vacant lots at Copper Mill in Zachary for roughly $1.7 with plans to build eighth and final filing of the subdivision and golf club.

Represented by founder Todd Waguespack, Level purchased the lots from Cedar Bend LLC, represented by attorney Erik Piazza, and managed by Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce. The deal was filed on Thursday.

The sales price works out to about $49,000 per lot. Waguespack says Level will build 34 homes that will range in price from range from about $300,000 to roughly $400,000.

“It will be similar to the houses that we’re currently building in there,” Waguespack says of the final filing.

Construction will begin within the next 30 days, and the phase is expected to be completed in about two years, Waguespack says.

Last year, Level and DSLD Homes swapped more than 150 lots in a $6.9 million deal. Through EWL Development LLC, Level picked up a total of 65 lots including 12 in the seventh filing of the Copper Mill, which is located off of La. 964.

—Alexandria Burris

Upscale hotel, multifamily developments planned in Baton Rouge Health District

Originally published in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Sam Karlin

March 6, 2017

Plans for a new upscale hotel in the burgeoning Baton Rouge Health District are underway, with a group of longtime hotel developers buying two acres of land along Summa Avenue last week.

Ash Patel, whose family business owns and manages four hotels, says construction on the new hotel will begin by the end of the year and be completed by early 2019 if all goes well. The land was purchased through a limited liability company called Summa Lodging, which Ash Patel owns with three other business partners, including Neil Patel, who also runs several hotels throughout the state.

Ash Patel says he envisions a hotel with 140-150 rooms, costing $180 per night. Ash Patel declined to say how much the group purchased the land for and says he cannot yet disclose which flag the hotel will fly. The sale was recorded as $100 “and other good and valuable consideration,” according to sale documents.

He adds that designs are underway and should be finished in the next four months.

“It’s going to go well with the whole Baton Rouge medical area there,” Ash Patel says. “All the other expansions—Bluebonnet, Siegen, Essen—it’s all blown up over the last 10 years.”

DB Midway LLC was the seller. The company is run by developers Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce, who bought 15 acres of land in the area last year for $3.7 million with plans for retail, multifamily and office space developments. The land is located between I-10 and Picardy Avenue.

Dantin says he and Bruce will retain some architectural authority over the hotel’s development. The two currently have an architect crafting plans for the first phase of their mixed-use vision, a high-end multifamily complex with 150 units and 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of retail space at the bottom of the building. Dantin says he hopes to break ground early next year on the project.

Eventually, Dantin says the plan is to develop three to four acres adjacent to the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, which is under construction, into build-to-suit office or medical space, or possibly more apartments.

“It’s really right in the heart of Baton Rouge,” Dantin says. “With the health district getting pushed forward, and having that walkability, we’re really excited about being in this area.”

—Sam Karlin

Dantin Bruce acquires 15 acres in Baton Rouge Health District, plans mixed-use development


OCTOBER 4, 2016

Originally Published By The Baton Rouge Business Report

Developers Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce, principals of Dantin Bruce Development, have acquired two parcels totaling 15 acres in the heart of the nascent Baton Rouge Health District and plan to gradually develop the property into retail, residential and office space.

In a deal that closed Monday, DB Midway LLC, which is owned by Dantin and Bruce, acquired adjacent 7.1-acre and 7.9-acre tracts from the heirs of Nick Messina for a total of $3.7 million. The Messina family had owned the undeveloped property for years.

Bill Jeansonne of Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate represented the seller in the transaction. The buyers represented themselves.

The 15-acre property is located between Interstate 10 and Picardy Avenue and is adjacent to property owned by Baton Rouge General Hospital. Part of the property is also adjacent to Our Lady of the Lake’s planned 350,000-square-foot Children’s Hospital, which is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2018.

“These are two great pieces of land in the heart of the Baton Rouge Health District,” says Brian Dantin. “We felt with all the infrastructure going in and the new roads—and obviously the new hospital—that this was a good piece of real estate.”

The city-parish has plans to develop three key roadways through the area, which will increase access to the Dantin Bruce property and improve connectivity throughout the medical corridor. Dijon Drive will be extended from Essen Lane to Bluebonnet Boulevard, traversing the Dantin Bruce property. A new Midway Road will be constructed, running from an intersection with Dijon south, crossing Summa Avenue and continuing to Picardy Avenue. Mancuso Lane will also be extended from Summa to Dijon.

Dantin says plans for the property have not been finalized but several potential site plans for mixed-use buildings are in the works. None of the construction will be speculative. Rather, Dantin Bruce will build to suit.

“We are going to do multiple different layouts and site plans and see what comes to us,” Dantin says. “There are many uses that work with this property. This health district area is going to be a hot spot for all our potential uses, so we will do a couple of different site plans and see which one will be the best fit.”

The health district project will be the latest of several for Dantin Bruce. The developers are currently completing a 60,000-square-foot office park on Jefferson Highway, City Farm. They are also developing three other residential projects, including the upscale Valhalla subdivision on Highland Road near Pecue Lane, and the Copper Mill Office Park.

“Baton Rouge is a healthy market,” he says. “It’s a good market for us right now.”

—Stephanie Riegel



Long Law Firm to join offices at City Farm early next year

Originally published by Baton Rouge Business Report

The Long Law Firm will move to the Offices at City Farm development on Jefferson Highway when its current lease in United Plaza expires sometime around next February.

The law firm joins Cypress Title and NAI/Latter & Blum as the only announced tenants for the office park that sits near Towne Center.

Adrian Nadeau, a partner at the Long Law Firm and member of the firm’s management committee, touted the location, the development’s characteristics and the ability to design a unique space specifically for the firm as three factors that played into the firm’s decision to move into the Dantin Bruce Development office park on Jefferson Highway.

“What I like about it is there are exterior common elements that will tie all these buildings together, but then they are being built to suit for separate tenants,” Nadeau says, referring to the modern farmhouse design conceptualized by architecture firm Ritter Maher. The design features metal roofs, farmhouse-type light fixtures, barn doors and open space with natural lighting.

The site of the 11,500-square-foot future Long Law Firm office is still a pad site right now. Brian Dantin with Dantin Bruce Development says crews are finishing up the plans for the building and hope to begin construction in three to four months.

The Long Law Firm has two offices—Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C.—and specializes in several types of law, including regulatory, commercial litigation and construction.

Nadeau says the firm has about 30 employees in Baton Rouge and should be able to house everyone comfortably in the new building, which will be about 3,000 square feet smaller than the United Plaza location the firm has called home for several years.

Being able to design the space efficiently to make up for less space helped, Nadeau says.

Dantin Bruce Development looking to rezone land inside Health District for commercial buildings

Originally published by Baton Rouge Business Report.

Dantin Bruce Development has about 14 acres of land under contract in the Baton Rouge Health District, and is trying to rezone the property from residential to commercial so businesses can join the fledgling district.

Developer Brian Dantin says the firm spotted some vacant property in the district that fronts Interstate 10, behind Baton Rouge General Medical Center’s Bluebonnet campus, and thought it would be a good investment for some build-to-suit buildings.

“We kind of just saw an opportunity,” Dantin says.

The company has filed rezoning applications with the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission to rezone a 7.87-acre tract between I-10 and Summa Avenue from A1 residential to HC1 heavy commercial, as well as a 6.75-acre tract behind the hospital, between Summa and Picardy avenues, from A1 residential to LC1 light commercial.

One major draw for the property is that it sits alongside the proposed Midway Road that is to be constructed to run parallel to Essen Lane and across Summa and Picardy, Dantin says.

The heavy commercial zoning would allow the firm to build a higher density, multi-story building right next to the Our Lady of the Lake’s Children’s Hospital that broke ground earlier this year—with good visibility from I-10, Dantin says.

The company has not finalized a master plan for the property, but Dantin says he hopes to have those plans finished soon.

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.

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