Perkins Road & Bluebonnet Boulevard | Baton Rouge, Louisiana
THE WHAT AND THE WHY
Perkins Rowe was built before its time. Economic uncertainty in the Baton Rouge area, coupled with a unique design and questionable location presented challenges. Some aspects of the project were incomplete. Retail, office and residential leasing and sales had stalled. Contractors and vendors were not reimbursed, and the developer eventually defaulted on the loan. Perkins Rowe was foreclosed upon by the lender, but the collateral of the financing did not include the chilled water plant. Following foreclosure, the lender and original developer ensued in a nearly 5-year public legal battle involving the chilled water plant and the demise of the project. Late 2013, current ownership purchased Perkins Rowe and hired Stirling Properties to manage, lease and provide construction management services in order to turn the tide.
The goal of the ownership was to turn the project around, and achieve a positive return on investment. The unsold condominiums were left unfinished, and the swimming pool was leaking throughout the building and retail component below. Retail tenants had not completed construction due to lack of funds and sales were stagnant. The 88 apartments at the east end of the project were left in various stages of construction. With the chilled water plant ownership entangled in litigation, construction of a new plant began with the installation of underground piping.
Leasing of retail, office and residential components would require an aggressive and market savvy team. Marketing and collateral for the project became a priority. Stirling’s construction management team had to step up to meet the challenge of completing projects that were in disarray.
With the tainted history of this project, we had to overcome negative public perception in the community, as well as gain the trust of current and prospective tenants and residents. This required unwavering patience and financial commitment. All incomplete projects and unresolved issues left by the previous developer needed to be addressed. We wanted to ensure Perkins Rowe would shine again as the premier up-scale mixed use project in Louisiana, as it was originally envisioned to be.
Two years into the project, we were able to bring retail occupancy to nearly 90% and office occupancy remains high at nearly 100%. The chiller plant is now in control of ownership, the apartments and condominiums are complete and in commerce. Perkins Rowe is now a leading destination in the metro Baton Rouge area. No other property offers the convenience of living, shopping, eating, and entertainment, without ever getting in your car.