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Jun. 5, 2013

14-Story Office Tower Sold; Energy-Efficient Affordable Housing Opens

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Dean Tower, formerly known as the Republic Tower—located on Florida Boulevard at Cloud Drive, has been sold. The buyer, identified as Baton Rouge-based Mid City Tower LLC, has paid a reported $1.2 million for the 14-story Class C office property, reports The Advocate.

Built in 1966 on 2.6 acres, the property was previously owned by Dean Building Holdings, which acquired it in 1997 for $400,000 from Kentucky-based ICH Corp., an insurance company. The 86,000-square-foot property is said to be 60 percent occupied, renting space at $14 per square foot with a roster that mostly includes small local companies. However, such wasn’t always the case. Prior to the downtown government office consolidations a few years ago, its tenant roster also included governmental entities.

Some renovation work is expected to take place at Dean Tower. However, the property can hardly compete with newer, more modern and high-income generating properties due to its dated design that includes small office plates and low ceilings.

In other local news, the Louisiana Housing Corporation recently opened its first affordable housing project inspired by post-Katrina neighborhood renewal programs in New Orleans, reports WAFB.com. Dubbed Mid City Gardens Apartment and Activity Center, the project sits on the site of Capitol City South Apartments.

The property consists of 60 apartment units, a LEED-certified community center, a rooftop garden and numerous energy-saving features, such as rooftop solar panels. All units are rented at affordable housing rates.

Additionally, the 14,000-square-foot development has a price-tag of over $12 million, all of which was covered with federal funds. The project is expected to significantly impact a problematic neighborhood. The Louisiana Housing Corporation is reportedly considering a similar approach to a distressed South Baton Rouge property.

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Image courtesy of the Louisiana Housing Corporation Facebook account

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