The foot traffic going in and around I Rivermark Centre in downtown Baton Rouge looks different today than it did in years past, following an $80 million renovation completed last year.
Built in 1968, the building—formerly known as Chase South Tower—was redeveloped into mixed-use property with luxury apartments replacing the office space at the top of the landmark tower.
The Rivermark Centre serves as the most ambitious project tackled so far by local developer Mike Wampold, who has built a career off bringing new life to old spaces that have seemingly been forgotten.
“I love iconic historic buildings—I love them,” Wampold says. “For me, if the economics work out, it’s a chance for me to express my creative side and it’s fun. You take iconic old buildings, such as the Watermark Hotel or Whitney Bank in New Orleans, and you bring them into the current market and the current decade, and you make them shine.”
While older spaces can be difficult and costly to renovate and repurpose, Wampold and others in the business community say the investment can be worth it if the conditions are right.