Written by Alexandria Burris for the Baton Rouge Business Report | April 12, 2017

A father-son development team has purchased a vacant 2.83-acre tract of land on Government Street at the end of Jefferson Highway and plans to build a new townhome development called Old Goodwood Crossing there.

Goodwood Crossing Corp., represented by David and Terry Hebert, purchased the property at 5785 Government St., near Fleur De Lis Pizza, for $800,000. The seller is listed as John Bruce Barclay of Houston, according to the sale documents. The deal closed late last week and was filed with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court on Monday.

David Hebert says he and his father plan to build a two-story development. The 35 townhomes will most likely have two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms as well as two-car enclosed, attached garages, he says.

As of now, the anticipated asking price for a townhome at Old Goodwood Crossing is about $300,000, Hebert says. The duo plans to break ground in June and market to young professionals and empty nesters.

“We picked the site because of the popularity of Government Street and the Old Goodwood area,” he says. “It’s convenient to a lot of the popular entertainment venues in the Mid City area. It’s very convenient for downtown employment.”

Veteran broker Chris Shaheen—formerly of Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate and now with Marcus & Millichap—closed the deal. Shaheen says he first listed the Mid City property over a decade ago and it was listed with Saurage Rotenberg in February of 2016.

“It’s one of the few larger tracts in the Mid City area. It’s 2.8 acres. It’s hard to find a nice piece of land that’s available,” says Shaheen, who worked to close the property’s sale even after he left Saurage Rotenberg.

The property, he explains, was the childhood home of the seller, John Bruce Barclay. Barclay’s mother lived there and remained emotionally attached to the land even after she moved to Houston to be with her son, Shaheen says. After her death last year, Barclay was increasingly moved to sell. The property has generated interest over the years. But as Shaheen explains, the front of 5785 Government St. is zoned for commercial use, while the back is zoned residential. He says lots of potential buyers had interest in the front of the property, but Barclay was unwilling to split the property to solely attract a commercial buyer.

At one time, advocates were pushing to extend Jefferson Highway through the property so the roadway could connect with Cloud Drive, creating access to the Baton Rouge Community College, he says. That didn’t pan out.

Last year, a dilemma arose over an AT&T cell tower on the site when the Heberts sought to buy the land, Shaheen says. The sale of the property was supposed to close in August, but the legal description of the cell tower’s area and the access to maintain it was not described in the lease between the owner and AT&T, preventing the lending bank from financing the sale.

Once AT&T provided the necessary documentation, Shaheen was able to close the deal.

“That’s probably one of the longest listings I’ve ever had,” he says.

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).