Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation that is developing the downtown Water Campus, announced it has finalized a deal with its first commercial tenant at the campus.
Global engineering and design firm Stantec, which has had a local presence since acquiring Baton Rouge-based ABMB Engineers in 2012, will move into 14,000-square-feet of fourth-floor office space in a 94,000-square-foot building currently under construction on the campus.
Though the move was previously announced, it was not finalized until earlier this week. Terms of the lease were not announced, but space at the building, known by its address, 1200 Brickyard Lane, was, until recently, advertising on the Louisiana Commercial Database for around $30 per square foot.
The building is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.
The announcement is significant because Stantec is the first commercial tenant in what is the first speculative building at the Water Campus, envisioned as an economic development catalyst and a world-class research center for coastal and deltaic studies.
Three other buildings on the site were built for state entities under the terms of an agreement between BRAF and the state. They include the headquarters of the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the LSU River Studies building, which houses a state-of-the-art scaled model of the Mississippi River, and the Center for Coastal and Deltaic Studies, which is the home to The Water Institute of the Gulf and is located on the site of the old city dock.
Stantec and CPRT have a long-standing relationship. In 2014, CPRT acquired Stantec’s headquarters, at 501 Main St., for $2.2 million and leased the space back to Stantec.
In 2017, CPRT sold the building to the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, which has continued to lease the space the Stantec and will move into the building once Stantec moves to the Water Campus.
Stantec Baton Rouge Principal Mike Bruce says the various deals were completely unrelated and that his firm looked at several potential office buildings before deciding to relocate to the Water Campus.
The Stantec announcement comes on a week when CPRT made a couple of headlines.
On Wednesday, the firm announced it has inked its first commercial deal at a mixed-use community it is developing in North Carolina, just hours after the Bon Carre Business Center, which it owned for 15 years, was sold at a foreclosure sale. CPRT defaulted on its mortgage earlier this year.