BR law firm to spend $3.87M on renovations in Chase North Tower downtown

    Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips is getting some new office space in downtown Baton Rouge—sort of.

    For decades the law firm has leased space on two floors in each the Chase North and Chase South towers at 450 Laurel St. Now it’s getting ready to begin a $3.87 million buildout in the north tower that will include a complete renovation of the building’s vacant eighth floor, as well as updating the ninth and 10th floors that the law firm currently occupies. When completed later this year, the firm will move out of its offices in the south tower and move into the three contiguous floors in the north tower, which total some 42,000 square feet.

    “We were looking to make better use of our space and Mike (Wampold, who owns the building) came and made an intriguing presentation to us,” says attorney Harry “Skip” Philips, the firm’s managing partner. “It was an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

    Besides the convenience of having its 150 attorneys and employees in the same building, Wampold’s deal will enable the firm to take advantage of the outdoor terraces on the eighth floor of the north tower, which Philips says was “extremely attractive.” The eighth floor buildout will also give the firm a new lobby and conference space.

    “This will be real Class A office space,” Philips says. “It’s going to be very nice space, and Mike has worked very closely with us to make it happen.”

    For Wampold, the deal was attractive because it enables him to upgrade his building and get a long-term tenant in space that was partially vacant. Chase Bank had previously occupied space on the eighth floor of the north tower, but as of late only Wampold’s leasing office has been located there. While Wampold owns the north tower, Chase Tower South is owned by a New York-based real estate investment trust.

    “We’re glad to have Taylor Porter over here,” Wampold says.

    Philips says the firm hopes to begin work by the middle of next month and complete it by the end of the year. Once the law firm vacates its space in the south tower, Wampold says he will close the concourse connecting the two buildings. —Stephanie Riegel

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