Commercial Properties planning parking garage, new streets for Water Campus

Jan 5, 2017

With two buildings complete and a third one currently under construction, Commercial Properties Realty Trust is moving forward with plans to develop infrastructure at the Water Campus. The firm has submitted a final development plan to the city-parish Planning Commission for the 27.6-acre campus that includes a three-story, 50-foot parking garage as well as three new streets.

The updated plan is basically unchanged from earlier plans submitted for the Water Campus, a three-year-old public-private partnership spearheaded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and its real estate company, CPRT. It’s envisioned as a research park for coastal and river studies.

So far, a $9 million office building that houses the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and a $16 million facility for LSU researchers that will house a 90-by-120-foot physical model of the Mississippi River have been completed. The CPRA moved into its building last summer. LSU is expected to relocate to its new digs later this month.

A third building on the site of the old city dock that will house The Water Institute of the Gulf is under construction and is expected to be complete later this year. Its estimated cost is more than $20 million.

The new parking garage will be built to accommodate parking for the TWIG building, CPRT spokeswoman Tina Rance says. It will be 108,000 square feet and will cost approximately $7 million, which is being funded by Commercial Properties.

The new proposed streets include an extension of the existing Arches Street; the construction of Water Street, which will run directly from Nicholson Drive to the TWIG building and be the formal entrance into the campus; and a new street called Brickyard Lane, which will run through the campus.

The Planning Commission staff recommends approval of the plans. The commission will meet to decide on the plans Jan. 17.