Walmart Closes on Prairieville Site for new store

Walmart, through its real estate business trust, has purchased the southeast corner of La. highways 44 and 42 in Prairieville, on which it plans to build a new 42,000-square-foot store and gas station. The sale closed on Jan. 27 for $3,022,500, or about $10.38 per square foot. Dennis Carlton of Carlton & Associates Real Estate represented the purchaser, while Gregory Bruce with Corporate Commercial Properties represented the seller. The property is currently occupied by a small strip center that’s home to Bruno’s Bakery, Deli and Meat Market. Demolition of the existing buildings on site should begin sometime in April or May of this year, and construction is expected to begin immediately thereafter. The road improvements to La. 42 seem to be spurring some new development in the area.

Sonic Acquires Site on Burbank Drive

Oklahoma-based Sonic Drive-In has assembled a site at the southeast corner of Burbank and East Boyd drives—near the University View shopping center that’s home to Mellow Mushroom, Izzo’s Illegal Burrito and other restaurants—for the construction of a new fast food restaurant. The acquisition consisted of two separate purchases totaling $1,010,000 for 36,000 square feet, or just over $28 per square foot. Six single-family residences currently on site will be removed to make room for the drive-in restaurant. Sonic was represented by Kent Walker at Donnie Jarreau Real Estate, and the seller was represented by Tigue Bonneval with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate. “We will combine all six lots and revoke the private servitude that provides access to them. That will give us one clean corner site at a lighted intersection that will service the student population nearby,” says Walker. This area has been positively impacted in recent months by the significant number of new apartment projects that are either under construction or have been announced—and who doesn’t need a few foot-long hotdogs with chili and some tots after partying at Bogies? This should be a successful location for Sonic, which already has nine Baton Rouge restaurants.

Nicholson Warehouse purchased for high-end Furniture Outlet

The owners of Monochrome Contemporary Furniture have purchased an 18,500-square-foot warehouse at 1010 Nicholson Drive—formerly home to St. Vincent de Paul—for $600,000 or about $32.50 per square foot. Monochrome, which bought the building from Brickyard Properties LLC, will renovate it for a new location. The business sells high-end contemporary furniture and currently occupies space in the Southdowns Shopping Center on Perkins Road. Ryan Greene and Walt Ketchings with NAI/Latter & Blum Commercial Real Estate brokered the transaction. According to Greene, Monochrome will renovate about half the building for their furniture and interior design store and lease the remaining space. “They hope to get a restaurant for a portion of it, and with the announcement of the Water Campus and all of the other proposed development on Nicholson Drive, this seemed to be a good place to retrofit some good quality retail,” Greene says. The renderings of the project show a large front entrance and walk-up area, taking advantage of the character and age of the building. This stretch of Nicholson Drive, between downtown and LSU, has new owners getting more and more excited about the possibility of gentrification, especially with the announcement of the Water Campus.

Geaux Clean purchases Siegen Lane site for Carwash

I can’t tell you how happy I am that 2013 is over, because a lot did not go well for me last year. But 2014 is heating up, and if the beginning of the year is any indication what the rest of it will be like, I am excited. LSU and the Saints are winning and Alabama is losing. All is right with world. The local real estate market appears to be showing some signs of continued recovery, too, with more activity taking place in almost all segments of the market. A recent sale of note is that of a Siegen Lane site to Geaux Clean Express Car Wash, which closed on Dec. 30 for just under $702,400, or about $14.50 per square foot for the roughly 1.1-acre site. The property is situated on the east side of Siegen Lane, just south of Cloverland Avenue. “The sale price at $14.50 per square foot was an excellent deal,” says Mark Hebert of Kurz & Hebert Commercial Real Estate, who brokered the transaction. “Another site across Siegen Lane from this property is under contract for $25.00 per square foot. I asked the owners of Geaux Clean, Norman Neal and Stuart Carter, if they would be interested in flipping the site, but they recognized they had a great deal.” Instead of flipping the property, Hebert says the new owners plan to develop the site with a state-of-the-art automatic car wash similar to the Geaux Clean facility on Highland Road. Construction is expected to begin early this year.

Pinnacle Warehousing purchases Airline Highway site for $1.8M

Pinnacle Warehousing LLC has purchased a site comprising about 7.75 developable acres on Airline Highway, adjoining Bayou Manchac, from Airline-Manchac LLC for $1.8 million, or about $5.40 per square foot. Brent Garrett with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, who brokered the transaction, says the property is part of a planned unit development whose developers recently sold a 12-acre site to Area Tire Distributers, which is building a 125,000-square-foot warehouse distribution facility on-site. This purchase by Pinnacle will allow for an additional 80,000 square feet of space to be developed along the Airline Highway frontage. According to Garrett, Pinnacle has a build-to-suit contract for a portion of the potential 80,000 square feet but does not yet want to reveal who the tenant will be. Construction on the new warehouse distribution facility should begin early next year.

Denham Springs Retail Center Sells

The Denham Springs retail strip center at 419 S. Range Ave. that’s home to AT&T, Allied Cash and Harrison Finance was sold on Oct. 28 for $815,000. At 6,045 square feet, the sales price for the building—which sits on a site measuring about 34,225 square feet—works out to just below $135 per square foot. The seller was M.G. Stevens Corp., and the buyer was 2620 Metairie Lawn LLC, both based in New Orleans. Larry Dietz with Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate brokered the transaction. A 1,300-square-foot space in the center formerly occupied by Papa John’s is being offered for lease at $15 per square foot. “The return with the existing tenants in place was good for the purchaser, and will improve when we lease the Papa John’s space,” Dietz says.

Glass Masters buys Jetstream Rubber Building on Airline Highway

The building at 8056 Airline Hwy., formerly home to Jetstream Rubber—an auto repair and tire center for two generations—has been purchased by Glass Masters. The sales price was $300,000, or $23.45 per square foot, for the 12,792-square-foot building. The deal closed on Nov. 6, with the purchase completed by Glass Masters’ real estate holding company known as Property Ventures of Marin Inc. The seller was Thomas Deavers, the second-generation owner of Jet Stream. “The new owner will occupy the first 3,500 to 4,000 square feet and lease the remaining area in the back,” says Scot Guidry of Mike Falgoust & Associates, who brokered the transaction. The building is in need of a paint job and roof repair, and the interior will be rehabilitated to facilitate the Glass Masters windshield replacement operation. “The building needs a little TLC, says Guidry, “but the location was perfect for Glass Masters, and the building layout allows them to lease the area they don’t need.” He adds, “It is situated on a 100-by-500-foot site, so there is plenty of area to expand.” Headquartered in Oakland, Calif., Glass Masters operates roughly 70 locations nationwide, including one in Baton Rouge on Jefferson Highway. The company’s Airline location is expected to open by the Dec. 1.