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.

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