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BATON ROUGE, LA-Local developer Peek-Howe Real Estate Inc. is planning to build a 274-unit luxury complex on a 12-acre tract bought for $2.4 million from New York City-based Mall Properties Inc. Ground will break within a month.

Peek-Howe’s Tuscany Villas will be located between the city’s Books-A-Million store and Tinseltown USA Movie Theater at Siegen Park Mall. Peek-Howe, represented by David Treppendahl Commercial Real Estate of Baton Rouge in the land transaction, would not disclose construction costs for the project at 10732 S. Mall Dr. However, other area developers have brought similar product out of the ground for $18 million to $22 million.

The complex is slated to deliver in summer 2007. Robert S. Peek Jr. of Peek-Howe indicates that Tuscany Villas is the first multifamily development within the Siegen Park Mall development, just off Interstate 10 and Siegen Lane. “There’s on the other side of the interstate, but that’s in a more industrial area,” he adds.

Peek tells GlobeSt.com that the post-Katrina demand for multifamily was one of the driving catalysts for the development. “This is very well located near retail and two major intersections, with easy access to Baton Rouge and New Orleans,” he says.

The complex will feature mainly one- and two-bedroom apartments with a few three-bedroom units. The units will start at 642 sf and top out at 1,223 sf. Monthly rentals will be $835 to $1,200.

Shreve Land Construction, headquartered in Shreveport, is the general contractor. James Harwick & Partners Inc. of Dallas is the architect.

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