Luxury apartments now fill the top14 floors of I Rivermark Centre in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The concrete ribs that run up the sides of the tower have gaps cut into them starting on the eighth floor, making spaces for interior balconies and large apartment windows.
But the bottom seven stories of the 22-story I Rivermark Centre are filled with freshly renovated office space. Six of those seven stories rent to tenants paying more than $20 per square foot.
The complex also includes another 250,000 square feet of fully leased office space at II Rivermark Centre, a matching concrete office tower attached to the first building at the base.
Both office workers and apartment residents can use the amenities at the complex, including a new swimming pool at I Rivermark Centre.
“We created a pool cabana and event center on the roof,” says Mike Wampold, founder and CEO of Wampold Cos., based in Baton Rouge.
Wampold owns several million square feet of office and hotel space in Baton Rouge. Staff from the hotels will sometimes serve drinks at the cabana. “We’re going to cater it with TGIF happy hours.”
The redeveloped tower also includes a fitness center and 4,000 square feet of restaurant space, including an outdoor cafe, opening in 2024, on the newly renovated plaza at the base of the two towers.
“This is setting a new standard in the Baton Rouge Class A office market,” says Wampold.
The rents are also high at The Residences at Rivermark Centre, starting at $1,750 for an 814-square-foot, one-bedroom unit and rising to $3,550 for a three-bedroom unit. The 168 new apartments opened in spring 2023.
“They’re renting up very rapidly,” says Wampold.
Wampold spent about $90 million to renovate I Rivermark Centre, formerly known as Chase South Tower, plus another $5 million to improve II Rivermark Centre, formerly Chase Tower North. Historic rehab tax credits paid about a fifth of that cost.
The renovation left the concrete skin on the 1960s office tower. All 1,300 windows in the building were replaced.
The old Chase South Tower is also nicely sized to hold new apartments.
“Older buildings have better floor plates,” says Brooks Howell, principal with Gensler, working in the architecture firm’s Houston offices. “The distance from the core to the glass is usually 35 feet. It’s perfect for residential.”