Demolition of former Chimes Textbook Exchange to begin soon

The new owners of a historic building on LSU’s North Gate are moving forward with a plan to demolish the front of the former Chimes Textbook Exchange, clearing the way for an outdoor patio for a potential restaurant or retail tenant.

Mandeville developer Clark Heebe bought the property last year for $380,000 with plans to redevelop the site. The parcel includes a two-story building that was the former home of the Kappa Alpha fraternity, along with the textbook store which was built as a front addition years later.

The property was rezoned last summer to allow for bar and restaurant uses. The former Textbook Exchange building sits in front of the two-story building next to Inga’s Subs & Salads.

Wade Green, a broker with Transwestern in Houston who partners with Maestri-Murrell Commercial Real Estate on the project, says he’s spoken with several potential restaurant and retail tenants, but has yet to sign anyone. The demolition will make way for an outdoor space that will lead up to a refurbished glass storefront on the KA building. It will serve as an outdoor patio if a restaurant or bar moves into the building, and Green says it will be more attractive to the many people who walk past the building each day.

“That’s something we were going to do anyways regardless of the tenant,” he says. “I think this will get us one step closer to getting someone in there.”

Green says he doesn’t have a timeline, but the demolition will likely begin soon. The owner received a permit for the demolition Tuesday.

—Sam Karlin

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