HIGH RISE: How Trey Trahan’s proposed 24-story, high-rise condominiums in downtown Baton Rouge would look from River Road. (Image courtesy of The Boundary)
Architect Trey Trahan is planning one of the most ambitious developments yet for downtown Baton Rouge—a 24-story, high-rise of luxury condominiums overlooking the Mississippi River at the intersection of North Boulevard and River Road.
As envisioned, the development would be a sleek, glass pencil skyscraper with a ground-floor lobby and, above it, 23 one- and two-bedroom units of about 2,000 square feet each. Only one unit would comprise each floor.
The building’s pencil design is necessitated by the dimensions of the property on which Trahan would build. It’s a lot of just 2,185 square feet he has owned for more than a decade. It’s situated behind Lafayette Park and across North Boulevard from the Old State Capitol grounds.
The building’s design would be unlike any other in Baton Rouge with 10-foot, floor-to-ceiling, exterior glass walls on three of the building’s four sides. The huge glass sheets would not be held in place by the metal frames or mullions that are typical in skyscrapers, which would enable residents to have an unparalleled view of the city.
“This changes the face of Baton Rouge and it changes the perception of Baton Rouge,” Trahan says. “It’s New York living, with the finest of stuff and the finest materials and finishes.”
The high rise would also be priced unlike anything else around. Trahan says units would sell for between $2 million and $2.5 million. He estimates the total price tag of the project would be more than $50 million. But then, high-rise construction is pricey. The cost of a tower crane alone, which is used in the building process, is more than $1 million.
Lenders have, so far, been interested in helping finance the project. But Trahan says financing will be contingent on his ability to secure commitments from buyers for 75% of the units—which would be at least 17. What’s more, those buyers must be willing to make a nonrefundable, down payment of 25%, or some $500,000 to $625,000.
Is Baton Rouge a market for such high-end living? Trahan is optimistic. He believes there are enough empty nesters looking to downsize and investors who want to live downtown or, at least, own a place downtown that he can sell his units, which will be trimmed with white marble in the kitchens and bathrooms, and walnut floors throughout.
“I know I’m putting myself out there but this is ultimately up to Baton Rouge,” he says. “Is this something they are interested in? I hope so because it will add to the quality of life and the quality of downtown and it would signify to the country that Baton Rouge is far more progressive than people see it.”
Trahan has been working on the project for several months and says he has talked to several potential buyers, who says they’re interested—including one buyer, who has suggested he might take two units.
Downtown Development District Executive Director Davis Rhorer has seen the plans and says, if built, Trahan’s high rise would truly be the game changer for Baton Rouge
“It’s a level of sophistication this city has not seen before,” he says.
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