New Denham project includes skyscraper, movie studio

New Investors Capitalize on Soaring Traffic Stats for Riverside Landing at Bass Pro

Carlilse-Place-Exterior02_1880

From Action17News.com

Denham Springs, LA – Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry announced a modern, state-of-the-art 44,000 square foot building and introduced key partners continuing invest and generate over $5 million dollars in tax revenue annually for the city from Riverside Landing, previously known to as the Bass Pro Development.

“The long awaited re-development of the S. Range Bass Pro hard corner is a reality,” Mayor Landry said.

In a press conference held Thursday hosted by Mayor Landry, owners of E. Jacob Construction, Carlisle Development, commercial realtor Joe Moore and lead architect Chris Remson of Remson Haley Herpin Architects, new details emerged proving the successful priorities and partnerships of the original Bass Pro development leadership will continue.

No TIFF will be requested, as no public infrastructure funding is needed according E. Jacob Fa-Kouri, who started the development and galvanized community support bringing jobs, retail, restaurant and now professional office space to the growing landscape of Denham Springs.

Private investors with Carlisle Development Group, LLC and Mahee Productions, an international movie studio, bring new opportunities and business to the highly successful retail epicenter of Livingston Parish, defined the 1-12 corridor, and capitalizing on tourism through Louisiana as details of the upcoming Carlisle Place building emerge on the corner of Bass Pro Boulevard and S. Range Avenue.

New LADOTD data shows traffic counts rapidly increasing solidifying Riverside Landing at Bass Pro as the premier retail development on the 1-12 corridor. With 6.5 miles of new water and sewer improvements, road reconstruction and overlay projects for S. Range Avenue, and momentum building for new entrance and exit ramps connecting 4H Club Road, the new Mayor has much to smile about.

“The reality is that the vision which became Bass Pro Shops has evolved into something greater called Riverside Landing. Sales continue to increase in the 8th year with no indication we have reached the maximum potential of what can be achieved.”

“Jacob Fa-Kouri’s original vision has grown even larger from 75 acres of underdeveloped, non-tax revenue producing property. It has become the most successful project in our city and parish to day with super-anchors on the I-12 corridor generating more than $5,583,000+ in tax revenue. And that’s quite a big jump since its inception in 8 years,” Landry continued.

According to the Denham Spring Economic Development’s Financial Audit for the fiscal year ending 2014 the sales tax collections exceed the amount necessary to pay the scheduled principal and interest on bonds and principal payment are being made ahead of schedule and pre-pay bonds.
The current fiscal year will be audited and reported, however sales tax collections for the 2nd half of 2014 and first half of 2015 have remained above $5 million and have the district to pre-pay bonds every quarter.

Some of the original participants included Fa-Kouri, former Mayor Jimmy Durbin, the Denham Springs City Council driving forces were former members Annie Fugler, Arthur Perkins and John Wascom, and supports appears to continue by those currently serving on the City’s Council: Chris Davis, Rene Delahoussaye, Lori Lamm-Williams, Robert Poole, and Jeff Wesley.”

Landry credited Mayor Durbin and City Council leadership of years past with the foresight and recently completed 6.5 miles of new water and sewer lines running south on 4H Club Road, preparing for additional residential and commercial growth in and around Riverside Landing, and with plans to construct a major overlay project on Range Avenue this year.

“I’d like to mention the new developer is a local gentleman who owns 2 hotels here and in other states and international businesses, including a movie studio, which he is relocating to this new 44,000 square foot building to be known as Carlisle Place,” said Landry, who added “the new developer is also investing in community of Denham Springs, providing more jobs and opportunities for the future.”

“It is because of two gentlemen, E. Jacob Fa-Kouri and Mr. Bhagirathi “BJ” Joshi that we are here today. This development at Carlisle Place opens a new set of uses that includes medical, financial, movie studio, office with some retail in a marquee building that will tower above the landscape.”

Mayor Landry introduced Jacob Fa-Kouri, owner of E. Jacob Construction, who says, “The entrance to Bass Pro Boulevard has always been an unfinished task that I always dreamed we could create to be special and stand out from surrounding structures. I also wanted to partner with the owner of the adjacent property to make the corner something that everyone could be proud of as we move toward completion of the Bass Phase 1 and into the 2nd phase of this wonderful development now known as Riverside Landing.”

“The hard corner is one of the few pieces of real estate left with direct access to Range Avenue,” said Fa-Kouri.

“At last count, over 3.2 million people passed through this intersection last year according to information gathered from retailers in the Bass Pro Denham Springs Economic Development District. They have had an excess of 3 million shoppers,” stated Fa-Kouri.

“New Flash: WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR A TIFF FOR THE PROJECT. All funds will be private and secured by the developer, Carlisle Place Development, LLC,” he said.

“This corner is one of the most valuable pieces of property in the original development, and still part of PHASE ONE, including the 2 remaining pad sites. We are working now on developments for both of these sites and have announcements coming later this summer,” Fa-Kouri said.

“I would like to thank everyone who believed in this vision, supported our efforts and worked with Denham Springs, parish and state officials and the community to make this a reality that benefits so many now and for generations to come. Dreams DO come true!” said Fa-Kouri.

Next to speak was Fa-Kouri’s Realtor Joe Moore, Division Director for with Re/Max First Commercial who for 6 years has been responsible for the ongoing marketing project developments at Riverside Landing.

“What’s really different about the announcement we are making here today is we are bringing high end medical office and professional, financial, and movie studio to Riverside Landing in Denham Springs,” said Moore.

“Recent traffic counts release by LADOTD continue to support this project in a major way. Retail, in order to be successful, needs traffic. Numbers for the year ending 2014 show I-12 traffic has jumped from 85,000 in 2008 to 108,000 in 2014. Traffic and shoppers getting off at the Range Avenue exit is 44,000 per day on and off the I-12,” Moore reported.

“This type of astronomical growth creates some challenges and opportunity and city will be addressing this with city reconstruction and road overlay of Range Avenue.”

“In not too distance future we hope to see the city, parish and state elected official support our efforts now for additional entrance and exit and entrance ramps for I-12 at 4 H Club Road. This will spur addition traffic management to support existing and future retail, restaurant, office, professional, and residential growth for Denham Springs and the entire parish of Livingston.”

“With the city’s completion of 6.5 miles of new water and sewer lines running south on 4H club Road, preparing for additional residential and commercial growth in and around Riverside Landing, we are poised to see some of that growth occur right here at Riverside Landing, the first being Carlisle Place which we are all here to see and hear about today,” he continued.

“Additional opportunities are now possible at 4H club and I-12 where we have a new 6.5 acre site next to Sam’s Club. Look for signs, as we move forward. My continued efforts are to ensure the tenants we bring to Carlisle Place will add to the community monetarily and culturally to contribute opportunities to benefit the community.”

Moore explained another difference in this type of space as new to Denham Springs, saying “Condo suite leasing Concept – What is different about this building is that it won’t be the traditional tenant lease where they rent the space versus ownership which they will have afforded them as office or retail condo. This makes is attractive to those who want to come and own their own building and design the space as they want it.”

Architect Chris Remson explained the design process for the new structure, interiors spaces to be designed and built and how finishes will be addressed.
This will the first project in Livingston Parish by Remson Haley Herpin Architects teamed with Lemoine Construction.

Owner of Carlisle Development Group and Highland Hotel Bhagirathi Joshi shared his vision for Carlisle Place.

“In order to do a project of this magnitude I have assembled an award winning team of Remson Haley Herpin Architects with lead Architect Chris Remson, contractor/developer Lemoine Construction,” he said.

“A multi-tenant building with Class A space that has been needed in Denham Springs, it’s what we have been waiting for – a building like this that will attract the types of state-of- the-art, cutting edge entrepreneurs, jobs and businesses we want in Denham Springs and in our parish.”

In addition to Carlisle Place by Carlisle Place Development, LLC, Joshi announced a new venture: The first movie studio to locate here, Mahee Productions, an international movie studio locating as a U. S. based movie studio committed to locate a state-of-the-art 11,000 square foot movie studio in the heart of Denham Springs. It will be located in the four story building to be named Carlisle Place on the corner of Range Avenue and Bass Pro Boulevard.

“The Mahee Production international headquarters will be relocated from India, and will include marketing and sales department initially. Our original plan was to locate pre-and post-production as well, but because of the passing and signing of the bill aping the incentives we are in the process of re-thinking our business strategy,” Joshi explained.

“I have been in this area over 16 years, and I want my headquarters to be here in Denham Spring,” he said.

“Veer Hamirji” was the first film produced by Mahee Productions. This historical movie is set in the 14-15th century, based on the life story of a legendary warrior Hamirji Gohil who fought and sacrificed his life to save the Somnath Temple. The film won 4 Best Film honors in India, 2nd place in Indie film festival in Ohio called “Indie Gathering,” and was screened for Oscar and Golden Globe awards. The film received a total of 21 awards. Short and feature films, based on demand will determine the studio’s focus.

“Carlisle Place Development’s owners asked us to create an iconic building that would reflect the growth and promise of the area. Capturing the right image for the property was very important to them,” said Chris Remson, principal for Remson Haley Herpin (RHHA).

“It was important that the building be cutting edge and modern, yet inviting for both tenants and customers,” said Remson.

Construction will start by Fall 2015 with finish space build out planned for Spring 2016. The new building will have a panoramic view of the Bass Pro Blvd. and the planned addition of more retail shops, hotels, entertainment venues and restaurants slated for Phase 2 at Riverside Landing.

The firm was chosen to undertake the design by the developer after being impressed with some of RHHA’s recent, nearby projects. In particular, the design of the corporate headquarters for The Advocate in Baton Rouge, a similar sized project that also required an elegant and forward-thinking image. That project, now well under construction, is being undertaken by the same team; RHHA for design and the Lemoine Company for construction.

“The height of the building assures that it will be visible from I-12 in both directions, and serve as a symbol of the prosperity of the area. It will be virtually impossible to travel through Denham Springs and not be aware of its presence,” said lead architect Remson.

Construction plans call for the demolition of the existing Highland Inn Hotel on Range Avenue at Bass Pro Boulevard and to replace it with the building to be named Carlisle Place on the connecting corner pad being acquired from the original investor/developer E. Jacob Fakouri.

The new signs for Carlisle Place and the 2.5 acre tract in front of Hooter’s Restaurant were installed on Wednesday, immediately drawing attention by locals and hopefully many nation retail and restaurant scouts visiting in the next two weeks considering the Riverside Landing location in Denham Springs for their next profitable site.

This is just the kind of publicity that encourages the Mayor, Fa-Kouri, Joshi, Moore and Remson as they search for new concepts and investors who can bring positive investments to the “jewel of Livingston Parish” and Denham Springs.

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