Benny’s buys Siegen Lane site for Seventh Car Wash

Well-known carwash operator Benny Alford has purchased a tract on Siegen Lane just north of Perkins Road for the construction of his next automated tunnel car wash facility. Alford purchased the roughly 2.1-acre site on Oct. 8 for $775,345.20, or exactly $6 per square foot. The property was purchased from the estate of Jerome Winfield, with the deal brokered by Jim Walsh at Jim Walsh Real Estate.

The site includes about 170 feet of frontage on Siegen Lane, and it’s zoned HC1 for heavy commercial development. Alford has been the leader in the automated tunnel carwash industry for several years, with six locations in the area.

“Benny recognized this as a high-traffic corner that would be advantageous for his automated car wash operation,” says Walsh. Construction on the car wash is expected to begin within the next four months.

Circle K acquires more property at Highland & Staring for a New Prototype Store

Circle K, which owns and operates the Exxon gas station at the northwest corner of Highland Road and Staring Lane, recently acquired a portion of the adjoining shopping center to expand for a new prototype location. Circle K closed on the 23,000-square-foot site on Oct. 1 from Starring Retail LLC for $694,000, or just over $30 per square foot. The site includes a 6,000-square-foot retail building that will be razed—along with the existing gas station—to make way for a new 4,000-square-foot convenience store. The sale was brokered by Mark Hebert at Kurz & Hebert Commercial Real Estate. “The corner site is prime for a retail convenience store,” says Hebert. “The deal took about 18 months to close, but Circle K recognized the high traffic counts and surrounding residential development, and knew this would be an excellent location for a new modern store.” Circle K will begin clearing the site to construct a new store in the next few months.

Level Construction, Walk-On’s complete deal for downtown property

A very complicated transaction involving a downtown property on Main Street and two prominent local companies has been completed for $650,000. As Daily Report first reported in May, the transaction was facilitated by Walk-On’s Enterprises, which had outgrown its 4,500-square-foot property at 460 Main St. that it had rented for years from H & E Properties. Walk-On’s has since moved its headquarters to a more than 7,000-square-foot space at 232 Third St. Level Construction, meanwhile, has also outgrown its 3,500-square-foot space at 450 Main St., which is next door to the former Walk-On’s headquarters. Level has now purchased the former Walk-On’s headquarters for $650,000, or about $154 per square foot, according to Mike Stinson with Saurage Rotenberg Real Estate, who brokered the transaction. “There were a lot of moving parts, trying to get more space for both Walk-On’s and Level Construction, both of which wanting to be downtown, but we were able to work it out to everyone’s satisfaction,” says Stinson. The building has been renovated, but Level Construction will do additional improvements to accommodate its rapidly-expanding construction company, Stinson says. The purchase does not include any off-street parking. “It was a very good quality building that met Level’s need to expand,” says Stinson.

Purchase of Former Frenchtown Road Sawmill

A roughly 50-acre tract on Frenchtown Road that was once the site of a sawmill specializing in the milling of old pine and cypress lumber has been sold for $720,0000, as was recently reported by Daily Report. Jake’s Vintage Trucks Inc., represented by former Amedisys CEO Bill Borne, sold the tract to Adventure Investment LLC, represented by Chris Castleberry. The property consists of 49.76 acres and includes a 17,000-square-foot office warehouse, as well as two covered sheds measuring about 12,000 square feet each. The buildings are not in good condition and will require some rehabilitation. Jonathan Starns and Travis Marshall with Donnie Jarreau Commercial Real Estate brokered the transaction, which closed June 13. Most of the site was formerly used to store wood and brick product that was salvaged from old buildings. The new owners will use the facility to house their landscape business, GreenSeasons. “It was a great deal for the purchaser. They can use the sheds for storage of their equipment and the 49.76 acre site will allow them to store plants and landscape materials for their growing business,” says Starns. “Now that the Central Thruway has connected to Frenchtown Road, the property is very accessible.”

Shamrock Marine buys Baton Rouge site for Warehouse

A smaller, but interesting real estate deal that closed recently was the purchase of a 15,000-square-foot masonry warehouse at 711 North 14th St. by New Orleans-based Shamrock Marine. The building, which was designed by A. Hays Town and is known by some as the Nabisco Building, was sold last week by Lewis & Lee Inc. At $375,000, the sale price works out to about $25 per square foot. Saurage Rotenberg Realtors Associate Broker and Retail Specialist Carmen Austin brokered the deal. He says the buyer services the marine industries with a floating store, refrigerated fleet supply and a grocery delivery system. With locations in the Baton Rouge harbor and at the 100-mile point in Port Allen, the new facility will help the company continue to expand its operations. Shamrock Marine says on its website that it is the only true mid-stream boat store south of Vicksburg, servicing 95% of the boat industry on the Mississippi River. Austin says the business has been growing, which required the additional warehouse facility.

Auto Zone closes on Airline Hwy site for New Store

AutoZone Development Corp. closed late last week on a 2.29-acre site off Airline Highway, across the street from the Home Depot at 8181 Airline Highway, at a price of $775,000, or roughly $7.75 per square foot. AutoZone plans to build a 30,000-square-foot store on the site—much larger than the typical 7,000- to 9,000-square-foot store for the Memphis-based chain—which will serve as a prototype and regional hub for stores in the Baton Rouge metro area. A 7,000-square-foot retail store will adjoin a 23,000-square-foot warehouse distribution storage facility on the site, says Austin Earhart of Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, who represented AutoZone in the deal. With the new store as a regional hub, if you go to the AutoZone on Florida Boulevard and they are out of the headlight you need, you can pay for the headlight and they will deliver it to you at any location from the regional warehouse on Airline. This helps AutoZone retain the sale and discourages the customer from going down the street to another parts supplier. According to Earhart, such facilities are being constructed all over the country, and AutoZone chose this spot on Airline—near the intersection of Florida Boulevard—because of its central location in the metro area and its access to major throughways and and the interstate system. The new store should be under construction sometime within the next three months. AutoZone bought the property from Goodwood Tourist Court LLC, which was represented in the deal by Darryl Gissel of Oak Real Estate.

Coursey Plaza Shopping Center sells for $2.1 million

Son’s Plaza Inc. of Chalmette has sold the Coursey Plaza Shopping Center—which is home to businesses such as The Tiger Paw Daiquiris and Grill, Signarama/Minuteman Press and Anytime Fitness—for $2.1 million to La. Coursey Plaza Inc., a Metairie-based investor. The sale of the center, located at 13711 Coursey Blvd., near the intersection of Hickory Ridge, closed on Friday. The sale price for the 15,533-square-foot center works out to about $135 per square foot. The shopping center was part of a larger retail development that includes a CC’s Coffee House and Bluebonnet Dental Care. The 360-unit, upscale Evergreen at Coursey Place apartments adjoin the rear of the center. Both the buyer and seller were represented by Wade Greene and Ben Stalter at Maestri-Murrell Commercial Real Estate. The property was 100% occupied with rents averaging around $13 per square foot, according to the marketing package. “This was a great deal for both the buyer and seller,” says Greene. “The high historic occupancy of the center and the strength of the local tenants generated a very high return to the purchaser.” The new owner will hold the new purchase as an investment.

Louisiana Connections Academy buys BR Building

The Friends of Louisiana Connections Academy has purchased a 20,000-square-foot office building at 4664 Jamestown Ave. from Abdul R. Kahn for $1.6 million. The price per square foot calculates to about $80. Louisiana Connections Academy is an online charter school; it will utilize the building for its offices and administration. According to Wade Greene IV with Maestri-Murrell Commercial Real Estate, who represented the buyer, they will renovate the building, primarily redoing the bathrooms and the exterior. The roof, air conditioners, elevator and other building features are all in relatively good condition. The seller was represented by Ryan Eaton with Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate. The sale closed last Wednesday. The new owner will begin renovations shortly.

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.