Downtown BR Capital One building sold

An investment group led by David Weinstein and J. Dyke Nelson purchased the Capital One Bank building in downtown Baton Rouge for $4.3 million Friday and will add an additional floor to the eight-story building.

Nelson said plans for the Third Street building’s redevelopment are wide open at this point, though the group is immediately seeking office tenants for the 114,000-square-foot building.

Capital One, the building’s previous owner, recently moved to nearby One American Place but still has a branch on the building’s first floor for the next few weeks.

Nelson said that if the team decides to include residential and retail components, the building will retain at least 40,000 square feet of office space on the first, second and 6,000-square-foot ninth floor, which will feature a panoramic view of the city.

He said significant upgrades and renovations will be done to the building in the next 12 months — the elevators and central air unit, for example — and that the building will attain at least a LEED silver certification, which is an energy-efficiency, environmental designation.

In the meantime, the team will be deciding how much of a transformation the building will undergo.

“All options are on the table at this time,” Nelson said, noting Jonathan Walker, of Maestri-Murrell, will be marketing the property.

Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District, said he’d like to see Nelson and Weinstein bring residential development to the building because it will fuel retail and entertainment development and help transform downtown into a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week destination.

Rhorer said downtown currently has 2,200 residents, including the Spanish Town and Beauregard Town neighborhoods. He said he’d like to see that number get to between 5,000 and 6,000, which he noted is getting closer with projects like the proposed IBM towers and the former Commerce building on the drawing boards.

“We’re getting there,” he said. “The infusion of development, whether it’s office or residential, on the Third Street corridor has such an impact on support services.”

Weinstein and Nelson are business partners in redeveloping the Tessier Building into apartments and 421 Main Street, which includes The Office nightclub and Restaurant IPO, in downtown Baton Rouge.