BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For years, Southdowns has been called the epicenter of Baton Rouge. Now, there's even more growth headed to the area. Some who live around Perkins Road question all of the construction. Those in real estate say, right now, that is one the city's most sought after areas.
The look of the old Ford Farm, near Southdowns, has a complete new look as the Rouzan development takes shape. Dozens of French style garden homes and single-family homes have been built. Some homes have sold signs in front, but many lots still are vacant. Construction workers can be seen all over the neighborhood.
"I'm not benefiting anything from this property, whatsoever," said Richardo Altards, Sr.
Altards says he and his wife moved into their home in the old neighborhood 27 years ago.
"That was a cow pasture," he said. "[There was] nothing but horses and animals. It was quiet."
His days now, he says, are quite the opposite. Now he's worried about noise and privacy, particularly because he lives across the street from where all the development is happening.
Years ago when Rouzan was in its early stages, many people in Southdowns signed a petition against the development. Their worry was that it would greatly impact their neighborhood.
While the concept of a residential/retail neighborhood is appealing to long time residents, some concerns remain; specifically, about how traffic will impact the streets of their already busy neighborhood. It's something some say they've noticed already.
One man says he's called the police several times to sit in his driveway and watch how many people are speeding down the streets. He says he's even offered to feed them for the day. His concern is that his children are playing in the front and drivers not paying attention.
"There's already extra construction workers coming through and everything else. Traffic has become terrible, just to put it mildly," Altards said. He says there's also concern about how much traffic would be added once retail goes in to the development.
Stacey Brown, a local real estate agent, says the area around Perkins Road near College Drive is a very desirable area right now.
As for the Rouzan development, she says homeowners are looking for that type of one stop shopping neighborhood. Where they can shop, live and play all in the same vicinity.
Not far from that development, there's another going up. "The District," a 312-unit complex, is a new luxury apartment building. The developer chose the location because it was lacking an upscale apartment choice.
Brown says these new developments are giving families the custom options they want, in a desirable location.
"They've always been attracted to this area because of the schools; it's close to the Mall of Louisiana, LSU. It's a great central location in Baton Rouge," Brown said.
The location, Altards says is something he's enjoyed. He's just not sure it will be the same once everyone else moves in.
"Just have to see how it plays out."