Dirt work already is underway on the parcel at South College andGerard Park drives. Vertical work will begin on both projects mid-to late summer. Morgen will have seven office condos, each about3,600 sf for $200 per sf to $210 per sf. Warehouse District Loftsunits will measure about 2,000 sf. The ask is $135 per sf to $140per sf.

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Developer Dimitri Menutis, who is a partner in both projects,tells GlobeSt.com that both office space and housing are in demandin Lafayette, which is becoming a hot area for development thesedays. He says a 33,000-sf office building that he acquired at 110Travis St. in 2005 is 100% occupied. "We're turning away potentialclients every day," he says. "The idea is to have some of thatoverflow going over to the Morgen." He says one prospect forMorgen's space is thinking about buying 16,000 sf although ithasn't yet gone vertical.

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Baton Rouge developers Steve Duplechain, Greg Blanchard and JohnGremillion are partnering with Menutis on Morgen, which will beready for sale in the fall as a design-build opportunity. TomHolden & Associates of Baton Rouge is the architect; and GDSDevelopment Co., also from Baton Rouge, the general contractor.

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As for the residential project, Menutis and Marion Joffrion, apartner and general contractor, are introducing a design pioneeredby Urban Lofts Townhomes in Dallas. Menutis says he and Joffrionare licensees of the product. If Warehouse Lofts is successful inthe market, the partnership plans to replicate it in Lafayette andelsewhere. The design includes a solar energy upgrade at an extracost.

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"One of the primaries I'd like to target for this areempty-nesters who have been in French Country home-design productfor most of their lives and who may be looking for a lifestylechange," Menutis says. "I think we'll be able to attract thosepeople who may not want their larger homes." The first fivetownhouses will be ready in spring 2009.

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