The city-parish is hoping to breathe new life into the former All Star Nissan facility on Florida Boulevard, which has been vacant since the dealership relocated to Juban Crossing in Denham Springs more than a year ago.
Pending approval by the Metro Council, the city-parish will purchase the building and 5-acre lot on which it sits for use as an environmental services operations center by the East Baton Rouge Sewerage Commission.
Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelvin Hill says the city-parish has negotiated a deal to acquire the building for $1.5 million and anticipates spending $5 million repurposing it as offices.
“So it’s a really good deal,” he says.
The city-parish has been under a federal consent decree to update its sewer system since 2002, a years-long process that is nearing completion. One of the remaining requirements is to consolidate the various offices that oversee sewer operations, formally known as the Department of Environmental Services, in one location.
Hill says the intent of the requirement is to increase the efficiency and performance of the department by having all the sewer operations under one roof.
In addition to enabling the city-parish to meet federal requirements, the acquisition will prevent the vacant facility from deteriorating into yet another blighted property on Florida Boulevard, Hill says.
It also will come in well under budget. The city-parish has $13 million set aside for a new headquarters building. Instead, it will only be spending $6.5 million. Hill says the remaining $6.5 million or so will go back into the sewer program.
The council is scheduled to vote on the request at its regular meeting, which, because of the holiday, will be at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, instead of Wednesday.