Preis sells two more Spanish Town homes

A trio of local investors bought two Spanish Town houses from developer Richard Preis and plan to renovate the buildings and continue to rent them.

Lakeland Development LLC, which is made up of Ramsey Green, Patrick Forbes and Baton Rouge Area Chamber CEO Adam Knapp, purchased two triplexes at 643 and 639 Lakeland Drive for $225,000, records filed with the city-parish show.

The houses were two of a handful that caused a stir several years ago when Preis teamed up with another developer who proposed to tear them down and build an apartment building.

The project was opposed by many Spanish Town residents.

Preis, who sold five of the houses on North Seventh Street and South Capitol Drive to Lance Bennett for rehabilitation last year, said the only remaining property he has of the originals involved in the controversy is 47,000 square feet at North Sixth Street and South Capitol.

The property includes a house and a duplex.

Preis said he’s going to hold that property to see what will happen at the nearby site of the former Insurance Department building. The state is trying to sell the property.

Green, of Lakeland Development, said he, Forbes and Knapp plan to spend an undisclosed but “substantial” amount of money on an interior and exterior renovation of the Lakeland homes.

“We’re going to keep them aligned with the way the buildings were originally built,” he said. “We just think they’re beautiful buildings.”

Green said the homes themselves are not designated historic, but are in the Spanish Town historic district and will be renovated to retain their most important features.

The trio will pursue historic tax credits for the renovations, which could be done by the fall.