- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A company set up by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation was the high bidder for the State Office Building, pledging $10.25 million for the property.

The group, known as 150 Third Street LLC, was one of two companies that bid on the downtown property.

The bidding was supposed to close last week, but the severe winter storm that shut down state offices and froze streets across Baton Rouge led to a delay.

BRAF President and CEO John Davies told The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1fD2WsD) the organization has ideas for the future of the office building but wouldn’t say anything until all planning is done.

“In acquiring this building, we are very pleased to continue a partnership with the state of Louisiana on projects that improve East Baton Rouge Parish,” Davies said. “As we did in rehabbing the Capitol House into a Hilton, we are purchasing this building to produce a social benefit - putting it back into commerce to continue the revival of downtown as prescribed by Plan Baton Rouge.”

BRAF has played a role in many downtown developments, from the Shaw Center for the Arts, to the IBM service center and residential tower under construction on Lafayette Street to the Water Campus on the old Municipal Docks just south of the Mississippi River Bridge.

Kristy Nichols, commissioner of administration, said the sale will maintain a balanced budget for the state and continue the revitalization of downtown Baton Rouge.

The Jindal Administration announced last year it wanted to sell the 12-story, 92,567-square-foot commercial office building in order to help balance the budget.

The state hoped to get $10.2 million for selling the art deco building at the corner of Third and Convention streets.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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