Stirling Properties Takes Over Summit Freamux

The long-delayed Summit Freamaux retail project in Slidell might finally be moving toward actual development

The long-delayed Summit Freamaux retail project in Slidell might finally be moving toward actual development, reports The Times-Picayune. According to the publication, Bayer Properties of Alabama has withdrawn from the project that should have been finished more than two years ago, and Covington-based Stirling Properties is taking over development of the project.

This is reportedly considered a major step forward, as the project has been lagging for years now. Initially, Bayer Properties approached the city of Slidell in 2008 with plans to develop a $900 million, 400-acre retail, office and residential project, with phase one of the build being operational in March of 2010. The project, however, did not get off the ground. Bayer Properties blamed the collapsing market and economic environment that refused to recover. As previously reported on this page, in March of this year, after months of friction between the local government and Bayer, the developer came forward with plans to build a scaled-down version of the project. The residential component was scrapped, and prospective retail tenants were far from the originally expected high-end shops. Groundbreaking was set for this past summer. City officials were frustrated with the lack of development, as millions were spent on infrastructure build-outs.

According to the newest reports, however, Stirling will be tacking the project and work will go forward as planned, with an expected opening date of spring 2014. Furthermore, already signed leases with retailers will be unaffected, including those with Best Buy, Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, T.J Maxx, PetSmart, Michaels, Versona Accessories and Ulta Beauty.

Stirling Properties has yet to release a statement.

In other news, the highly anticipated but also controversial 73-unit luxury apartment complex Elisio Lofts in the historic Fabourg Marigny neighborhood seems to be blocked, as developer Sean Cummings’ request to exceed the area’s height limit was rejected. As previously reported on this page, the apartment complex would have comprised a redeveloped two-story former warehouse flanked by a 48-foot-tall, modern structure on one side and a 74-foot new building on the other. The height limit in the Fabourg Marigny is 50 feet. According to a report by The Times-Picayune, the developer considers the rejection to have killed the project, which seemed a sure thing after the city planning commission unanimously approved most parts of it. The city council rejected the request to exceed the 50-foot height limit.

Elisio Lofts was to be located along an entire block at Elysian Fields and Decateur Street. The 73-unit luxury apartment complex would have had three street-level commercial spaces and 74 covered parking spaces. The apartments were expected to convert to condos in a few years.

Photo credit: Infrogmation via Wikimedia Commons