Baton Rouge developer says Mid City’s ‘crown jewel’ to be centerpiece of one-of-a-kind residential neighborhood

Mike Hogstrom’s planned residential development on the site of Goodwood Plantation, which was first reported by Daily Report this morning, is the latest of several projects the designer and developer has underway or has recently completed in the Goodwood and Mid City areas.

It’s also the most ambitious.

Hogstrom’s firm, Onsite Design, has a purchase agreement to acquire the 17-acre plantation home and grounds and redevelop the property into a 48-lot subdivision called Adelia at Old Goodwood, with the 165-year-old home serving as the centerpiece of the project. Lots will average 11,000 square feet and sell for $27-per-square-foot.

“This will be a transformative development,” Hogstrom says. “Baton Rouge is a challenging market to demonstrate a proof of concept—especially with a project of this scale and rarity. We know the market will drive the development to the point where the value of this property is undeniable.”

Earlier this year, Onsight Design completed development of E’tage Gardens, which is located on Government Street near Jefferson Highway. Nearby, the firm is getting ready to begin construction on the Township at Old Goodwood, a small subdivision of eight lots on a 1.7-acre tract at Lasalle and Lobdell avenues, as well as on the 17-lot Overton Walk at Old Hammond Highway and Cove Court.

At 48 lots, Adelia will be considerably larger than any of Onsight Design’s other infill projects. It also will be the most expensive, with homes ranging in size from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet and averaging between $250- and $285-per-square-foot. But Hogstrom believes there is demand in the market from young professionals, families and retiring baby boomers for upscale residential products in the Goodwood area.

“This project is one of a kind,” he says. “Goodwood has always been a very desirable area to live, and it would be hard to argue this property is not its crown jewel.”

Onsight Design will be just the third owner of the historic property. Hogstrom’s firm is acquiring it from Anna Babin-Neal and Thomas Babin, whose family bought it in the 1930s from its original owner, Dr. Samuel Laycok. The property at one time encompassed 2,000 acres and comprised much of what is Mid City today.

The house is modeled after the Goodwood House in West Sussex, England, and reflects the influence of English Georgian architecture, relatively uncommon in Louisiana. It was reportedly the first house in Baton Rouge to have running water, and, at some point prior to the 1930s, served as an upscale nightclub called The Grove.

Today it is located in the heart of a neighborhood that is holding its own in terms of residential real estate values. During the first nine months of 2015, 24 homes sold in Goodwood, up from 20 during the same period one year ago. Meanwhile, the median sale price in the neighborhood increased more than 40%, to more than $376,000 from nearly $263,000.

“It’s a very popular neighborhood,” says Barbara Ann Eaton, a broker with Coldwell Banker One. “You’re seeing a lot of renovations, not so much teardowns as in Bocage or Jefferson Place, but people are renovating and adding on to the smaller homes. The area has some large homes, too.”

Eaton, an avid preservationist, says she has some concerns about subdividing the plantation property. However, she believes if the historic home is renovated and “if done correctly, it can be very positive for the community and for the area.”

Hogstrom plans to close on the Goodwood Plantation by the end of the year and begin construction on Adelia in the first quarter of 2016. Financial details on the purchase are not being disclosed. You can check out renderings of the development here and here, and see a site plan

—Stephanie Riegel

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