BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The landscape of Baton Rouge is changing, that's certain. Perhaps even more so in the downtown-area. The latest development is one that fuses the current realities with ideas proposed to happen in the not-so-distant future.
Remember the name 1010 Nic. It will be located in a place very easy to find. If you are on Nicholson heading north away from LSU and closing in on downtown, just look left before you cross underneath the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge - just before the legendary Pastime. That's where you will find it.
1010 Nic is where the new Water Institute is located and hopes to be a main anchor of the proposed River District, as well as the much talked about Nicholson corridor, if it actually comes to be, along with that light rail from LSU to downtown. What a prime spot it would be.
1010 Nic is nearly 20,000 square feet of retail space. It's the full renovation of a once-wasteland of a building. There was nothing to remember about the building, but 1010 Nic seems destined to be the center of something.
The space, as it is now, is anchored by Monochrome, a hip, smart home goods and furniture store that was formerly located in the Southdowns Shopping Center on Perkins Road. It opened in that location back in 2010. "Only, not many people knew it was there," said building owner and visionary Mitchell Naquin.
Naquin is a Baton Rouge-native and U-High graduate. He spent two years at LSU, but admits, he "doesn't remember much what he did."
After college, Naquin headed west to California and the San Francisco College of the Arts. He then returned to Baton Rouge with a very clear idea of what he wanted.
Naquin hopes 1010 Nic becomes what he had in mind.
With Monochrome as the main feature, Naquin hopes 1010 Nic becomes the full extent of his vision. It will additionally include Mercer Supply Company (essentially a hip barber-salon), Jeannie Frey Rhodes Photography, Denicola's Furniture and Noelie Harmon eco home goods. There's a chic new art gallery, Contemporain and within Monochrome is Front Door Architecture.
Naquin and associate Bridget Tiek smile and acknowledge, that's the hope!
One thing is certain; it's sharp, crisp, clean and offers a retail feel Baton Rouge doesn't really have - urban, industrial cool.