Surrounded by city leaders and his extended family, developer John O. Hearin broke ground today on the Lofts at 6C, his 142-unit apartment complex that will span nearly a full city block between Convention, Florida and Sixth streets.
Though site work has been underway on the development since earlier this fall, today’s ceremonial groundbreaking was an important milestone for the project, which has been in the works since April 2012.
“It will be five years this April since we began,” Hearin noted. “I’m hoping in early 2018 we will be celebrating a ribbon cutting.”
The Lofts at 6C will be the largest multifamily complex in downtown and, when completed, will bring to nearly 550 the number of multifamily units downtown, not including Spanish Town and Beauregard Town.
“This development is in sync with our master plan,” said Downtown Development District Executive Director Davis Rhorer. “They wanted us to create a residential neighborhood adjacent to historic districts. … We look forward to seeing this rise up.”
Units in the complex will range in size from 700 to 1,100 square feet. The complex will have a 270-space parking garage and two, third-floor courtyards, one with a pool and one with a garden. It will also have two ground-floor retail spaces of 1,000 and 2,000 square feet.
Though the downtown residential market is increasingly competitive, Hearin said he believes there is continued strong demand for new housing. The recently completed Commerce Building at 333 Laurel St., which has nearly 100 units, is already 90% leased.
“The apartment demand for downtown is great,” he said.
Hearin’s family has been in downtown Baton Rouge since 1840. Today, with his father, siblings, children and nieces and nephews, he celebrated his family’s legacy in the city’s historic center.
“It’s pretty amazing that we’ve got eight generations of Hearins here,” he said.
The Lofts at 6C are being financed through the Housing and Urban Development’s 221(d)(4) loan program, which provides favorable financing for market rate multifamily projects. Milton J. Womack is the general contractor on the project. Atlanta-based SGN+A Architects did the design. See a rendering of the development.