Plan for Spanish Town apartments calls for demolition of one building, restoration of another

Plan for Spanish Town apartments calls for demolition of one building, restoration of another

An application to restore and secure historic designation for the Dupree Apartments—located at 607 and 609 Spanish Town Road—was filed today with the city-parish Planning Commission, along with a number of rezoning applications for local properties.

The two 2,500-square-foot two-story buildings that make up the Dupree Apartments were built in 1924 in a "mission architectural style," says Robert Lay—who along with co-owner Ben Stalter acquired the apartments late last year—but were badly damaged in a December 2009 fire and have remained vacant ever since.

Lay, Stalter and and Derek Fitch, also a partner in the project, hope to restore one of the buildings—for which they also seek historic designation—and demolish the other, which they say is unsalvageable. The restorable building will be renovated into four 600-square-foot, one-bedroom units, while the fire-damaged building will be rebuilt to "closely mirror the existing building," Lay says. "We're going to demolish it and build it back with something that's substantially the same." It will contain two 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom units.

Lay and Stalter hope to use historic tax credits to rehab the first building. "We believe it shouldn't be a problem [to secure historic designation] because it is a historic structure located in the Spanish Town national historic district," Lay says. Buddy Ragland of Coleman Partners Architects is handling the design. Because the project includes fewer than 75 apartments, the application will not require a hearing before the Planning Commission. However, it will need approval from the Historic Preservation Commission. See a rendering of the restored apartments.
Other applications submitted to the commission today include:

• Local restaurateur Wayne Stabiler's application to rezone his recently acquired property at 7666 Jefferson Highway, across from Bocage Village, from C1 to CAB1 for a new restaurant serving alcohol.

• An application for Timeout Lounge—a local bar formerly located on Old Hammond Highway near Drusilla Lane that was destroyed in a fire last December—to rezone a property at 3180 Valley St. near Perkins Road for a new location.

• Owens Grocery Market & Deli's application to rezone its restaurant at 2444 Balis Drive to be able to serve beer and wine.

• RaceTrac's application to build an approximately 6,000-square-foot gas station and convenience store on the northwest corner of Jefferson Highway and Bluebonnet Boulevard.

• Took La Vapor Boutique's application to rezone a property at 201 Little John Drive on the corner of Florida Boulevard from C2 to CAB2.

Editor's note: This story has been updated since its original publication to clarify the approval needed for the apartment project in Spanish Town.

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