Developer Pete Clements has unveiled details of River Park, his planned $600 million mixed-use development near Hollywood Casino on the north side of downtown Baton Rouge.
Clements said River Park, first discussed about a year ago, is a 10- to 15-year project that will ultimately include a 280-room, major flag hotel, an extended-stay hotel, 800 to 1,200 residential units, 250,000 square feet of retail space, 650,000 square feet of office space, 6,000 parking spaces and a 600-seat amphitheater along the riverfront.
Mayor Kip Holden, who introduced the project at the Downtown Development District meeting this morning, said the project will add the equivalent of 10-12 new city blocks to downtown and is a “new vision for the northern Mississippi riverfront.”
Holden said the development will create 200 to 300 construction jobs for the life of the project, 600-800 full-time jobs and 150-200 part-time jobs.
Access to River Park would be provided by a four-lane underpass under the railroad tracks that parallel the Mississippi River, the first part of the development to begin.
Clements said work on the underpass should begin in the third quarter of this year and be completed by the end of 2009. He said plans will be filed with the Planning and Zoning Commission later this week, and building permits will be filed sometime after.
Clements said that, when he started talking to people more than two years ago, it was difficult to get anyone interested in retail and residential development downtown. Now, however, the development is attracting enough interest from retailers that he had to change the plans to accommodate them. No tenants have been signed yet, he said.
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” he said. The main attraction, he said, has been the uniqueness of the development and the 1,500 feet of riverfront.