Groundbreaking means transformation for Nicholson Drive Corridor

Groundbreaking means transformation for Nicholson Drive Corridor
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Properties along Nicholson Drive have sat untouched for years, but now the area is coming back to life. Developers have several projects in the works to restore that section of Baton Rouge and bring in more development and growth.

Wednesday, city leaders and developers of the River House project broke ground on a $26 million project.

The mixed-use development will include 224 luxury apartments, as well as 50,000 square feet of office and retail space.

River House will be located at 1480 Nicholson Drive, where the Prince Murat Hotel once was.

The development falls in EBR councilwoman Tara Wicker's district. She says everyday she gets phone calls asking what's going on.

"People have been anticipating this for years," she said. "Something's happening. It's alive, it's well and it's growing."

The work, play, live build will be located across from the Water Campus, which broke ground earlier.

Wicker says with all the projects in the area mean businesses are willing to invest there again.

The River House developers say the project should be complete in 12 to 14 months. They say they chose the area to take advantage of the closeness to LSU and downtown.

According to their research, 11,000 people live in the Nicholson Corridor. Most are young with lower-income. They believe with the access to jobs, like those that will be available at the Water Campus (which is right across the street from River House) and plans for a street car down Nicholson, they are building on prime real estate.

"For people who will live here it's perfect. Work downtown, LSU, this is a possibility," said Davis Rhorer, with the Downtown Development District. He says what's coming means more connectivity between the two areas.

The River House project is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

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