Timothy Boone for The Advocate | July 3, 2013

A 91,000-square-foot office building on Florida Boulevard designed by renowned architect A. Hays Town has been sold for $1.7 million.

GNL Properties of Dallas sold the building at 10225 Florida Blvd. to BR Florida Street Property LLC in a deal that closed Wednesday, said Jim Allen of Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate. Allen represented the buyer, while Charlie Colvin of Beau Box Commercial Real Estate represented the sellers.

The nearly 5-acre property includes the eight-story office building and two warehouses that boost the total covered space to 102,380 square feet. The building was built in 1967 and had been the home of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Direct General. Allen said the space has been vacant for about four years.

Developer Bob Dean is an officer with BR Florida Street Property. Dean is a buy-and-hold investor who previously has had several high-profile downtown buildings in his portfolio, such as the Capital House Hotel, which is now the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center; the Commerce Building, which is undergoing redevelopment to turn it into an apartment and retail property; the Hotel King, which is now the Hotel Indigo; and the Baton Rouge Savings and Loan building, which is now the Holiday Inn Express.

Dean has not disclosed what he plans to do with the Florida Boulevard office building, Allen said.

Jim Allen earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas and his masters from Louisiana State University.  In addition to his multiple degrees he has taken numerous coursework in banking, marketing, accounting, and business law.  As a complement to his sales experience, Jim also has 30 years experience in commercial real estate financing.

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).