It’s been nearly a year since developer Steven Duplechain bought property in Spanish Town, but the groundbreaking on his planned apartment complex remains months away.
Complicating the design of the complex, says Duplechain, is finding enough space for parking as well as the site’s proximity to Capitol Lake. Three or four design options have been considered, but each has collapsed due to engineering issues.
The 1.75-acre site—bordered by Lakeland Drive, Whitaker Avenue, Arsenal Park Apartments and Capitol Alley, and running all the way to the lake—requires a substructure for support and Duplechain is working to develop plans that, among other things, wouldn’t be disruptive to the neighborhood.
“We’ve been scrubbing the project for challenges—engineering, political and community challenges,” he says, adding they intend to submit final plans to the Historic Spanish Town Civic Association.
Duplechain is working with architect Andrew Baqué, of Baqué Huffman, on the project. They previously worked together in Beauregard Town developing The Elias, which opened in January.
While they were originally planning for the Spanish Town complex to have roughly 72 units, Duplechain says they’ve retrenched and reduced the footprint for the project.
“We’re looking to make this economically viable but still contain all the parking on site with those engineering hurdles,” Duplechain says. Another factor under consideration: Baton Rouge’s multifamily vacancy rates, which have been on the rise.