It’s a well worn cliché around here that Baton Rouge is a tale of two cities – with both the highest income levels and outcomes in the state and the lowest. Which of the two cities you’re in depends on whether you’re north or south of Florida Boulevard. There are a lot of reasons for this. On this edition of Out to Lunch, Stephanie and her guests focus specifically on real estate investment – and dis-investment and reinvestment – to better understand how and where developers are investing in this community, and what’s going on in some long-neglected areas.
Chris Tyson is President and CEO of Build Baton Rouge, the city-parish redevelopment authority, which was founded in 2009 to promote equitable investment in disinvested communities throughout Baton Rouge. Chris took over at the helm of Build Baton Rouge in 2016 and is leading the agency through an ambitious effort to revitalize one of Baton Rouge’s most blighted corridors – Plank Road. Chris is a real estate attorney by training with a graduate degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a law degree from Georgetown. He is also a distinguished professor at LSU’s Paul M Hebert Law Center.
Donnie Jarreau is a real estate developer and investor who’s been active in the Baton Rouge market since the late 1980s. Early in 2020 he restructured his real estate brokerage, Jarreau Real Estate, to expand from a traditional commercial brokerage and property management services into an investment platform – JRE Private Equity Group – that enables qualified investors to buy into properties that the company identify as attractive investments.
On a whole other business track, Donnie is a founder and part owner in the Regymen Fitness chain, a boutique fitness concept with locations now in four states and Canada.