Launch Media anchoring collaborative work space

Launch Media, a video production company, is moving from the Celtic Media Centre to downtown this summer and will anchor a new collaborative work space for visual media professionals

Launch Media will take up 4,000 square feet in a building at Main and Eighth streets. John Jackson, executive producer and president of Launch, purchased the 11,500-square-foot building for $450,000 in a deal that closed Dec. 27. Jackson made the announcement at the Downtown Development District Commission meeting Tuesday.

Launch media has 11 employees. Its clients include LSU, Albemarle, Turner Industries, St. Elizabeth Hospital, BREC and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Jackson said he will rename the building the Creative Bloc and offer space for lease to video, film, photography, graphic arts and app development businesses. The building will offer resources such as fully equipped video and sound production studios, post-production suites and office space.

Jackson said the arrangement will allow visual and audio-centered businesses to collaborate and share resources. Downtown was a good spot for the project, because he said the area attracts young creative professionals.

“It’s exciting to see young entrepreneurs stepping up and doing things like this,” said Davis Rhorer, executive director of the DDD.

In other business:

TWO-WAY STREET: Rhorer said bids will go out Friday for work to convert St. Louis and St. Ferdinand streets to two-way traffic.

Bids will be opened Feb. 5 and Rhorer said the work will take eight to 12 months to complete.

Once the project is done, Nicholson Drive will tie directly into downtown through St. Louis, and Highland Road will tie directly into downtown via St. Ferdinand.

PUBLIC PLAZA: Plans are also starting to develop a public plaza at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. The preliminary plan is to build a public green space on the spot in front of the museum, where a train had stood from the mid-1970s to 2009. The green space would serve as a meeting place for children and families and would tie in with the second phase of the North Boulevard Town Square, Rhorer said.

BLUES ROOM: The Blues Room, a new downtown club featuring live music seven days a week, is set to open Jan. 25.

The Blues Room will be located on Lafayette Street, in the space that fittingly once was occupied by Tabby’s Blues Box.

“We think the blues fits in with downtown Baton Rouge,” owner Billy Stevens said.

Stevens is no stranger to the Baton Rouge nightlife scene. In the 1980s and 1990s, he owned Sports Illustrated, a popular Tigerland bar.