By the end of 2015, Baton Rouge is expected to see more than 2,700 new apartments come on the market, with several big projects already nearing completion.
Among them is The District, a massive 312-unit, three-building complex on Perkins Road, which is under development by Vintala Partners. A portion of the first building has been completed, but only five units are currently occupied.
Residents are scheduled to move into 23 more units at the beginning of November. The first building should be complete by the end of the year, according to Vintala Management Specialist Kaylan Merritt, and the second and third buildings are under construction, with completion expected in the spring. Rents range from $830 to $1,600 per month.
The Exchange on Ben Hur Road also opened this fall. When complete, it will total 304 units and six buildings. The Standard, an LSU area 274-unit complex is scheduled to open in Fall 2015, according to its website. The complex is bordered by West Chimes, Alaska, Aster and Iowa Streets.
Sterling University Housing is already pre-leasing space in its 235-unit complex scheduled to open on Burbank Drive next fall.
Wesley Moore, a multifamily market specialist with Cook, Moore and Associates, says the Baton Rouge market has historically absorbed about 900 new units annually. Moore says the new construction isn’t enough to oversaturate the market just yet, but adds that could be a concern in the future.
“We haven’t hit too many [units] yet. Our occupancy numbers are strong,” Moore says. “But are we building too many? Quite possibly.”
Moore says the LSU market specifically could see vacant units because the student population hasn’t increased at the rate of student-oriented units. The complexes under development downtown, like those in the 95-unit IBM tower, the 28-unit Oynx and the 65-unit 440 on Third, should be readily absorbed, he says.
“The downtown market hasn’t had any units delivered,” Moore says. “Some 800 new employees with salaries that should support downtown rents,” will need housing, Moore says.