G.W. Oliver Construction building new corporate office on Interline
Most would agree that a quintupling of sales over just five years is cause for celebration. It's also cause for an expansion, says Guy Oliver, owner of G.W. Oliver Construction, who is building a new 5,800-square-foot corporate office at 9362 Interline Ave. (Map it) near the intersection of Airline Highway and Interstate 12. "Back when I moved into this space, we were probably doing only $3 (million) to $4 million a year in business," says Oliver, whose 12-year-old company has rented a 2,400-square-foot office/warehouse space at 6921 Exchequer Dr. (Map it), just off Industriplex Boulevard, for the past five years. "Now, we're doing probably over $15 million, based on what we already have booked for next year." G.W. Oliver Construction, which builds custom homes, pool kitchens and swimming pools, purchased the Interline property for about $270,000, Oliver says, and expects the retail value of the new building will be about $800,000. The office portion of the new building will measure about 4,800 square feet, which is about 4,000 square feet larger than the Exchequer office, Oliver says. It will include a full conference center with a built-in bar and entertainment area for clients, as well as flat screen televisions that hook up to computers for project presentations; an office for the in-house architect; and a full gym and personal trainer for employees. Oliver says the fitness amenity was prompted by company habits. "We're all friends and we've all worked out together for years, so I figured I'd build a space," he says, adding, "[The gym]'s a good place to meet before work." At 1,000 square feet, the warehouse portion of the new building will be climate-controlled, unlike G.W. Oliver's current 1,600-square-foot warehouse. Oliver says he hopes to begin construction within the next 30 days, which would put the company moving into its new location by April. —Rachel Alexander
Jacobs Engineering subsidiary picks up lease on Highland warehouse
A subsidiary of Jacobs Engineering has inked a lease for a 15,000-square-foot warehouse off Highland Road for $10,500 per month. The price converts to $8 per square foot, which is slightly above the market rate of $6 or so per square foot. But commercial broker Mark Hebert, who represents property owner Giovanni Mucciacciaro Enterprises, says warehouse space along the Interstate 10 corridor is at a premium because of all the industrial construction underway at the chemical plants along the Mississippi River. "There is just not a lot of space available along the I-10 corridor," Hebert says. "Everyone is gearing up to build, and it's hard to find any warehouse space south of I-12." Jacobs Field Services of North America, which is based in Houston, is leasing the space for one year and is using it to store motors for a client that is building a nearby manufacturing facility. —Stephanie Riegel
Zachary shopping center sells for $2.2 million
The 63,000-square-foot shopping center at 5460 Main St. in Zachary (Map it) has been purchased by ZSCP LLC for $2.2 million. John L. Moss Jr., vice president and managing broker of Retail Specialists Inc.'s New Orleans office, is manager of the purchasing group. He says the shopping center was purchased as an investment, adding that the space will continue to be leased to current tenants and there are no current plans for any new tenants. It is home to stores such as Stage, Dirt Cheap and Acme Refrigeration. The buyers will begin minor renovations, including a new roof and cosmetic repairs, this month, says Moss. He expects refurbishments to be complete by February. —Rachel Alexander
Cook: Ascension commercial market improving
A&D Medical has sold a 4.82-acre tract that's situated one block off the intersection of La. 30 and La. 44 in Park Eastbank Subdivision in Gonzales. The property is located at the dead end of West Eastbank Street (Map it). The sale closed on Oct. 29 for $530,000, or about $2.50 per square foot. A&D Medical had purchased the property in August 2009 for about $1.40 per square foot. The sale was brokered by David Vercher with KW Commercial Real Estate, who represented the seller, and Joe Moore with Re/Max First, who represented the buyer. According to Vercher, interest in the property was fairly strong, reflecting an improving market in Ascension Parish. "I see inventory being absorbed at a tremendous rate in comparison to just one year ago," he says. "I believe land and warehouse properties in the Gonzales area will become limited in the months to come." The new owner, RRL Holdings LLC, represented by Marcel Lemoine and John Robert, has not announced plans for the property.
(Appraiser Tom Cook owns Cook Moore and Associates. Reach him at 293-7006 or TCook@cookmoore.com.)
Andrews: A look at the three forms of man camps
I promise to get to the financial implications of man camps on a community, as I said I would in last week's column, but first I'd like to expand a bit on just what these things are and why we should care about the risks and opportunities they present. In order to avoid a broad-brush definition of "man camp" as any short-term housing solution for temporary workers—such as those about to flood south Louisiana for the coming industrial boom—I checked with the North Dakota Man Camp Project (yes, there is such a thing) to see how its leaders, a group of professors from the University of North Dakota, classify the camps. According to its website, the project separates man camps into three categories:
• Type I camps, sometimes referred to as "crew camps." These consist of uniform, institutional housing that makes the most efficient use of resources, and has the smallest and least permanent environmental footprint in relation to the number of beds provided. These are the most costly, in order to minimize the long-term negative impact on the community, but they leave no infrastructure improvements for the community after the workers leave.
• Type II camps, akin to RV parks. These are often individually owned, temporary units that most closely replicate the sense of community found in working-class suburbs. However, they make greater demands on existing infrastructure. And since they're less tightly controlled, they have a greater environmental impact.
• Type III camps, which can be best described as living rough. These have no fixed electrical, water or sewage infrastructure. Type III camps are the hardest to control, from a community perspective, creating the highest potential for health concerns among the three types of camps, and they have the greatest per-capita environmental impact.
Hopefully we will be focusing on Type I and Type II camps in south Louisiana. I'll start looking at the public and private-sector financing issues in the coming weeks.
(Brian Andrews is assistant director of the Real Estate Research Institute at LSU's E. J. Ourso College of Business. His business is Andrews Commercial Real Estate Services, and he can be reached at email@example.com.)
Real estate recap: Stein says $41M new main library not big enough for all the system's needs … New parish president seeks development for West Feliciana … Garden View Assisted Living plans expansion into B.R. market
Room for debate: The Metro Council was anything but sympathetic to assistant library director Mary Stein's recent request to purchase the former Ethan Allen building near Cortana Mall for $1 million, which Stein said is needed for "back-of-the-house" uses. "So you spent $41 million [on the new Main Library at Goodwood], and then you say it was not designed to do these other items?" Councilman Buddy Amoroso asked. "Sounds like some bad planning to me." Stein told the council last week that the new Main Library, which is 126,000 square feet, won't provide all the space needed to train staff and store all the system's books and equipment. Daily Report has the full story.
Perception versus progress: There's a widespread perception that West Feliciana Parish residents are staunchly anti-development. But Kevin Couhig, CEO of Baton Rouge-based Source Capital and the parish's newly elected first president, says a 2010 poll showed that most residents want growth. The former state economic development official, who started his new job last week, tells Daily Report the parish is in danger of falling behind economically in the midst of a growing region. "One of the things I want to do here is build a business-loving culture, where people recognize that in order to have things like great schools, you have to have growth," he says. Read the full story.
On the drawing board: Garden View Assisted Living hopes to help fill a need in the area by opening an assisted living facility at 3130 Jones Creek Road (Map it), says Julie Comeaux, a representative from the corporate office. It will be Garden View's first location in Baton Rouge and third location overall. Its two other facilities are in Lafayette and New Iberia. Comeaux tells Daily Report the company expects to begin construction on the two-story, 64,600-square-foot development by the beginning of 2014, which would have the suite-style living facility opening by January 2015. According to the permit application recently filed with DPW, the project will cost approximately $8 million.
This week's poll question: Did you sell or buy a home this year in the Capital Region?