BATON ROUGE – Developers are already looking to buy a 52-acre lot on Nicholson Drive considered “obsolete” by the city-parish parks department. BREC purchased the property in the 1990’s for $90,000 but never developed it, a lot now valued at $3.6 million.
“Our entire inventory was looked at to see if there are properties that no longer serve a function,” said BREC spokesperson Cheryl Michelet.
The lot south of LSU near University Club is one of fifteen properties BREC is considering selling or turning over to private partners. Michelet says park-goers have asked the agency to focus on quality over quantity in its facilities.
In the southeast part of the parish, BREC plans to reinvest in the old State Fairgrounds off Airline Highway and make it into the area’s “community” park. In turn, they will be doing away with two undeveloped properties, the one on Nicholson Drive and another in Lafitte Hill subdivision.
“The sale of these two pieces of property will help pay for the renovation [at Airline Highway] without costing taxpayers additional money,” said Michelet. “At the same time, we will save money on the two pieces of property that aren’t being utilized.”
The Nicholson Drive property is zoned rural. If the property is sold, it could come with special restrictions requiring some acres be preserved as green space.