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.