BATON ROUGE — Spencer Calahan, a personal-injury lawyer, is planning to build a new downtown Baton Rouge office, which will feature a helicopter landing pad and an outdoor kitchen.
GraceHebert Architects has designed the building, which will be located at the corner of South and St. Louis streets, next to Calahan’s existing office at 827 St. Louis, according to a report by The Advocate.
A Business Report article said that work crews have already begun demolishing old houses on the site that will make room for the new office while construction is set to start this summer.
The building is expected to be completed by late 2018.
Speaking recently to the Downtown Development District Commission, Calahan said that the building is going to have a good view of the bridge and downtown.
“We really hoped when we designed this it would be a landmark,” he said.
The building, which is expected to cost the attorney between $8.5 million and $9 million, will have two levels of parking and 30,000 square feet of space on top of that, spread across three levels of offices and a helicopter pad on the roof, The Advocate reported. A terrace with 1,500 square feet of space will be an outdoor kitchen, catering and events area, which will be on the floor below the helicopter pad. The helipad will be located on the building's corner facing the Interstate 10 on-ramp. The building will have more than 40 offices and a mock courtroom as well, the Business Report reported.
The Advocate went on to say that as Calahan and his wife are licensed pilots, the helipad will provide ease of access for him between different offices. It adds that Calahan is reported as saying that the helipad could link in with the proposed tram that would tie downtown and Louisiana State University by permitting VIPs to land at the office and then catch a ride to Tiger Stadium, instead of getting a ride from Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.
The proposed $170 million tram is experiencing some delay, however, as Baton Rouge government officials are reported to be planning to apply one year later than previously thought for federal money, The Advocate reported in another article.
A busy summer of 2016 sidetracked the city-parish, preventing it from finishing an application by September for $84 million in federal funding toward the tram.
Despite being a year late, this September the city is expected to apply for a Federal Transit Administration “small starts” grant for cities that want less than $100 million for public-transportation systems.
Tram riders would be able to get on and off at 10 stops: North Street, Florida Boulevard, North Boulevard, Government/Spain streets, Europe Street, the entrance to the future Water Campus, Van Buren Street, McKinley Street, Aster Street and North Stadium Road.
The city would expect to receive the money, if successful, in October 2018 to work on the tram.