Developer Mike Wampold is meeting Friday with officials from the State Historic Preservation Office to finalize approval for the historic building tax credits he is seeking to help offset the cost of renovating the Chase South Tower, which he acquired in February 2018.
Assuming approval for the credits is granted, Wampold will be ready to begin construction on the iconic, downtown high-rise, which he plans to redevelop into a mixed-use development of luxury apartments, offices and ground floor retail.
Phase one of the project entails redeveloping the top five floors of the building into 75 high-end, multifamily units that could be completed and ready to lease by summer 2020.
They will be the first of some 150 units planned for the top 10 floors of the building.
Future plans also call for renovating existing office space in the 330,000-square-foot building, and adding new ground-floor retail space on the plaza, a bricked-in walkway that flanks the building on its Fourth and Fifth street sides.
The move comes as the office and multifamily sectors of the Baton Rouge market have slowed amid excess inventory, a trend Wampold acknowledges. But he remains optimistic about his project, which he estimates will ultimately have a $50 million price tag—not including the undisclosed amount he paid for the building 15 months ago.
“Look, it’s slow. The whole Baton Rouge market is slow,” he says. “But it’s moving and there is still demand for a competitively priced, best product in the market.”
Wampold has a similar project in the works in downtown New Orleans, but is not yet ready to disclose the building because it is still under contract and the sale has not yet closed.