Plans to turn over Ardendale land approved

The East Baton Rouge Parish Redevelopment Authority voted Monday to transfer 19.8 acres of land to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and the Division of Administration, another step in making the Ardendale mixed-use development a reality.

Ardendale will be built on a 200-acre tract northeast of Baton Rouge Community College near Florida Boulevard, in a neighborhood bounded by Greenwell Springs Road and roughly between North Ardenwood Drive and North Lobdell Boulevard.

James Andermann, the RDA’s director of real estate, said the 19.8 acres of land that is being turned over to Baton Rouge Community College will include four buildings: an automotive training center that will be the gateway for Ardendale, an allied health building and two properties with an undetermined use. The automotive training center will be open in September 2016 and the allied health building will be open by the end of 2016.

“This is a huge investment for the Melrose East community,” Andermann said, noting that $36.5 million has been allocated for the two BRCC properties.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board’s Career Academy also will be located in the first phase of Ardendale. The $17 million project will open in late 2016. The transferred land includes a separate 12-acre site where BRCC plans to build baseball, softball and soccer fields. No timetable has been announced yet for the construction of the three athletic fields.

The transfer is set to close Sept. 30.

In a related matter, the RDA approved a $536,682 contract with Wilson Kimble Contractors of Baton Rouge to clear a 30-acre section of Ardendale. About 7.8 acres of cleared land that will be the site of the school buildings will be included in the transfer. The remaining clearing will take care of a drainage connection that will flow into the Melrose Canal.

The work is set to begin on Sept. 1 and will be completed in 90 days.