Written by Stephanie Riegel for the Baton Rouge Business Report | February 2, 2018

Developer Mike Wampold has acquired the downtown Chase South Tower from a group of New York investors and is planning to eventually redevelop the iconic high rise into a mixed-use property for office, retail and residential use.

In a deal that closed late Thursday, Wampold’s La Hermana Major, LLC, acquired the 333,000-square-foot building from Florida Street Holdings, LLC for a price listed as $10 and other valuable considerations.

“La Hermana Major” is Spanish for “the tall sister,” a reference to the adjoining Riverside North Tower, which Wampold also owns.

Wampold declines to say what he paid for the nearly 50-year-old Chase South Tower, citing a nondisclosure agreement. Sources familiar with downtown real estate say market rate for a building of that size and age could be as much as $85 per square foot, or $25 million, though Wampold likely paid considerably less.

Brokers Hank Saurage and Michele Casi of Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction.

Michele Casi has been practicing commercial real estate since 1996.  Michele was the owner/ broker of Casi Real Estate LLC for many years and joined Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate in 2017, specializing in the sale and leasing of commercial real estate.  She has an extensive background in management and disposition of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) portfolios for major companies such as Trammell Crow CompanyBrookfield Asset Managementand as an Associate Director for Jones Lang LaSalle.  Michele holds an Associate Broker’s license in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as a Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

Hank Saurage obtained his Real Estate Sales License in 1984, followed shortly thereafter by his Real Estate Broker’s License in 1986. To further expand his business, he then obtained his Real Estate Broker’s License in Mississippi in 1997. In 1990, Hank earned the CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designation from the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute. He is also a member of the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB), the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).

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).