The Business of Doing Good

A wave of public and private investment is helping to transform North Baton Rouge’s Ardendale neighborhood into an area pulsing with energy and hope. 

Longtime Bank of St. Francisville customer and real estate developer David Treppendahl recently transformed a dilapidated apartment complex known as Hawthorne Heights, into the modern, gated 248-unit apartment community named Ardendale Oaks. BSF underwrote an $8.65 million loan for the project and recruited other partner lenders to participate in the loan.

“This is a really important submarket within North Baton Rouge where things are showing success,” says Treppendahl. “There is about $75 million of new investment within 500 yards of our project.”

Treppendahl secured financing to purchase the dilapidated Hawthorne Heights complex and conduct major renovations.  

“I went to a couple of banks, but BSF came through,” says Treppendahl. “They really worked the loan efficiently.”

Ardendale Oaks opened in 2017 and includes fully updated studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, modern amenities and a fiber-optic security system. Located minutes from downtown and Mid City Baton Rouge, it is situated a stone’s throw from other major investment projects, including a 200-acre urban village spearheaded by the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority. The site is designed to host housing, commercial and retail and educational institutions, including the recently completed Baton Rouge Community College McKay Automotive Training Center. The East Baton Rouge Career and Technology Education Center, a career oriented high school, opens this fall on the site.

Left: An exterior shot of an apartment building at Ardendale Oaks. Right: The welcome lobby 

Since Treppendahl began his project, other in-state and out-of-state real estate developers have begun renovation projects on at least two other apartment complexes nearby, demonstrating the neighborhood’s promise and the significant demand for quality housing here.

Treppendahl has been able to rent the units for a higher rate than he had originally anticipated. In the fall of 2017, the Ardendale Oaks property appraised for $16.9 million, a $5 million increase from the previous year, demonstrating that doing good by the community can be good business, too.

“In order to see a healthy Baton Rouge—which has a positive impact not only within the city limits, but for those of us who live in surrounding towns too—we need to see investment in all areas of the city," said BSF President Carter Leak IV. "Development in North Baton Rouge has been tough to come by in recent years, however, David is a very talented developer in the multi-family real estate market, and has a big heart for all people. We believed in his vision for the complex, and his passion for the people he wanted to serve. This project was the right thing to do, both for the community and for business. It’s been really exciting to watch and to be a part of.”

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