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LAFAYETTE, LA-Construction will launch later this month on phase one of Loft Twelve 45, an 80-unit, high-density, urban development. The $21-million project, scheduled to be built in four phases, is the first project of its type in the city.

The SoHo-style lofts, situated on 4.5 acres at 1245 S. College Rd. are different in design from the standard apartment and condo complexes that are typical in the area. Co-developer Dimitri Menutis, with Menutis Investments Inc. of New Orleans, different is good when it comes to the 800 sf to 1,200 sf lofts, which have been tagged at $150,000 to $425,000.

“We’ve already achieved a high presale on these based on the fact it’s a new product,” Menutis says. With only seven units remaining in the 20-unit first phase, Menutis tells GlobeSt.com that plans for phase two are already in the works.

Menutis is not surprised that the “hip lofts,” as he calls them, are in demand, because the area’s demographics reflect a demand for luxury high-density residential product. “I’m seeing more and more Bentleys in Lafayette,” he says. “There is a ton, a ton of money in this town because of the economic driving forces here.” Those drivers, he continues, are oil and technology.

Those drivers also have meant the most expensive penthouse units already are sold out, though Menutis acknowledges he’s receiving requests for one-bedroom lofts, which will be delivered in the remaining phases. The first to come on line will be two- and three-bedroom condos.

Loft Twelve 45′s success in Lafayette has encouraged Menutis to examine other areas in Louisiana for similar developments, with Baton Rouge next in the company’s sights. Menutis Investments could be entering the Baton Rouge market within 18 months. “The placement of this particular product is very important,” Menutis explains. “It needs an urban setting that is close to commercial development so we’re looking at that now.”

The lofts are being marketed by Midge Park of Coldwell Banker Pelican in Lafayette. Steve Oubre of Architects Southwest of Lafayette is the project architect and BEO Contractors Inc., also a local firm, is the builder.

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