More than a year after the @Highland office building opened on the corner Bluebonnet Boulevard and Highland Road, the Class A property has yet to welcome any tenants to join General Informatics in the 52,000-square-foot structure.
But activity has picked up this year, says Ty Gose of NAI Latter & Blum, the leasing agent for @Highland.
“We’re working on proposals right now on the whole building,” he says, “not just one tenant but several.”
Last year was slow for the Baton Rouge office market across the board, Gose says. While new Class A properties were coming online—like @Highland, the Water Campus and River House—demand for office space slumped. Gose is optimistic about 2019, though, saying the first few months have been more active.
The high-tech @Highland office park, developed by General Informatics CEO and founder Mo Vij, broke ground in 2016 and opened its first building in early 2018.
Future plans for the nine-acre development include three additional low-rise buildings to be built for office, retail, restaurant and residential space. But Gose says construction on the other buildings likely won’t begin until the first building is fully leased.
“The primary goal to fill up the first building,” he says.
General Informatics, Vij’s IT services company, moved its headquarters to @Highland as the anchor tenant of the first building, which cost some $20 million to develop.
While working on proposals for the office space, Gose says he’s had a lot of interest in the future developments for the space, adding, “We’ve got a bunch of restaurants that really want to be on that corner.”
The city-parish in 2016 agreed to provide @Highland a $500,000 performance-based incentive to be paid in five annual installments, in order to secure the project, according to a press release from the governor’s office announcing the development.