AFC Enterprises changes its name
NEW YORK (AP) — Restaurant company AFC Enterprises Inc. has changed its corporate name to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc.
CEO Cheryl Bachelder said in a statement that the name Popeyes “is among the most visible expressions of our Louisiana heritage and differentiates Popeyes in the marketplace.”
Its Nasdaq ticker symbol is changing to PLKI from AFCE on Tuesday.
Popeyes had 2,225 operating restaurants in the U.S., three territories, and 28 foreign countries as of Dec. 29.
of Baton Rouge building permits up
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The number and value of building permits issued in East Baton Rouge Parish increased in 2013.
The value of building permits issued by the city-parish Department of Public Works Inspection Division was $707 million, a 17 percent increase over the $603.5 million in permits issued during 2012.
The total number of permits increased by nearly 4.2 percent, from 21,689 to 22,599.
The number of single-family home permits dropped slightly, from 757 in 2012 to 744 in 2013. The value of single-family homes permitted also was down, from nearly $194.6 million in 2012 to almost $19.2 million in 2013.
Commercial permits increased, from 737 in 2012 to 764 in 2013. The value of commercial work went from $365.6 million in 2012 to nearly $414.8 million.
a new barge ramp
SULPHUR (AP) — Assembly of a new barge loading ramp in the West Calcasieu Port barge basin is expected to be completed shortly.
The 80,000-pound capacity ramp in the west basin, south of Sulphur, is being paid for by a $640,000 grant from Devall Towing, the port’s longest-standing tenant.
A 700-foot hard-surface road to the new ramp will be built later this year and is funded by a $250,000 economic development grant from the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.
Orion Marine Group, another West Calcasieu Port tenant, is the contractor for the project.
“Our aging existing barge loading ramp has experienced considerable wear and tear, including two major hurricanes, and has been showing its age,” said port director Lynn Hohensee. “The new ramp will allow us to accommodate a growing demand for the ramp services.”
Hohensee said rapidly growing oil and gas exploration in southwest Louisiana marshlands has caused oilfield services companies to increase their use of shallow-water barges.
“The oilfield service companies use our ramp to drive their large service trucks onto barges at our port,” he said, “And from there, they are moved by pushboats to locations in the marshlands where drilling activity occurs.”
St. James plant building
ST. JAMES (AP) — Americas Styrenics plans to build a deep-water dock at its styrene production facility in St. James.
The styrene monomer the plant makes is one of the basic building blocks of the plastics industry. The material is used to make the plastic polystyrene. Styrene monomer is also used to make packaging, electronic parts, rubber products, paper, housewares, construction materials, carpeting and toys.
AmSty said that detailed engineering is underway on the project, and American Styrenics expects the dock will be operating in late 2015.
Company Vice President Randy Pogue said the project will allow the St. James facility to handle large ocean-going vessels. He says the new dock will also support the company’s styrene export business.
Paving contractor expands to N.O.
WESTWEGO (AP) — An Alexandria-based asphalt manufacturer and paving contractor is moving into the New Orleans market.
Diamond B Construction recently purchased property next to the Mississippi River in Westwego for $2.5 million.
The company plans the site as its first production plant in the New Orleans area.
Diamond B primarily is a contractor for the Louisiana Department of Transportation. It has seven locations around Louisiana that prepare asphalt products and serve as bases for its road crews.
Buildings to combine in retail-residential project
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Three mostly vacant buildings at the corner of Canal and Camp streets will be combined into one luxury apartment building with retail shops in a $15 million project.
The project by the firm Woodward Design+Build brings together 600 Canal St., 604 Canal and 113-117 Camp St. into one development.
The buildings are clustered near the Central Business District and the French Quarter.
The development will have 44 apartments and 8,000 square feet of retail space.
Construction of the project — branded as the Giani Building — is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2015.
The announcement marks the latest in a wave of downtown apartment projects to meet growing demand as the Central Business District’s evolution into a more residential neighborhood continues.
The owner of the property is listed as Canal@Camp Apartments LLC. A spokesman for the owners declined to give more details.
The registered manager of Canal@Camp Apartments is Chandru Motwani, according to Louisiana secretary of state records. Motwani could not be reached for comment.
“When The Giani Building opens in January 2015, it will add luxury housing supply to the foot of Canal Street,” Darren Pellegrin of Woodward Interests, the owners’ representative, said. “It’s all part of the movement to make downtown New Orleans a 24-7 neighborhood.”
The seven-story building at 600 Canal St., which dates to 1889, was designed by New Orleans architects Thomas Sully and Theodore Toledano. It was one of the first high-rises on the major thoroughfare, developers said.
As part of the renovation, there will be a balcony accessible from the second-floor apartments.
Other design elements include a rooftop cabana and swimming pool and second-story courtyard with a plant-covered roof, developers said.
Plans call for one three-bedroom penthouse, 33 one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom units.
The Camp Street building in the project is currently vacant.
The upper-floors of the Canal Street buildings are also vacant, although the ground-floor retail space is occupied, developers said.