New affordable apartments set example for future of Downtown Baton Rouge

POSTED: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 6:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 6:44pm

The revitalization of downtown Baton Rouge has taken yet another step forward. A new mixed income apartment complex on Main Street is complete and ready for leasing.

"When I first looked at downtown housing in Baton Rouge, I quickly realized it was a little on the high side and it probably wasn't going to be affordable for me,” says Jennifer Jenkins who was the first resident to move into 438 Main Street. Jennifer Jenkins has been looking to move to an urban area for quite awhile, but has had trouble finding something affordable.

"I'm very excited to be here in the redevelopment of Baton Rouge," said Jenkins.

And now with a 22 unit mixed income development right on Main Street Downtown, Jenkins has everything she's looking for, while staying within her budget.

"Often times when you come into major areas and do major revitalizations of community's especially like a downtown area often times those areas are off-limits to people who have a higher income,” said Tara Wicker who is a council woman in Baton Rouge.

With the help of a state disaster recovery funds, the developers were able to make their dream a reality.

"We've had an interest with other developers in duplicating what we've done here in other areas of downtown Baton Rouge and in Baton Rouge generally," Helena Cunningham, owner of the development, noted.

“It fits. It's functional. It’s beautiful. It's what we need to see happen more and more in downtown Baton Rouge,” said Wicker.

And this project will serve as an example for future development in downtown Baton Rouge.

“I think it serves as a catalyst project to encourage others to come in to town and the downtown area especially our younger generations," Wiker added.

There are some apartments that are at market price and some that are affordable with income based rent. Rent ranges from $300 to $1,000 a month. Cunningham says there have been over one hundred applications sent in to rent in the building.

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