Proposal made to renovate old City Hall, Zigler Annex building

JENNINGS — The old City Hall and Zigler Annex buildings in downtown Jennings could soon get a facelift.

Dr. Ben Sabbaghian, doing business as Percipoles, and Joel Oustalet, doing business as Partners Real Estate, presented plans for the property to the Jennings City Council on Tuesday

The decades-old building was the former City Hall, which included offices on the first floor and apartments upstairs. The Zigler Annex building, located to the rear of the City Hall, housed several offices.

Sabbaghian wants to renovate the four-story old city hall at 324 N. Broadway St. to accommodate residential apartments and business spaces.

“I have been through it and the building itself is somewhat rundown,” Sabbaghian said. “There are leaks everywhere, there’s water damage … all kind of problems with it, but I see a lot of potential in it.”

Sabbaghian said location of electrical and plumbing will decide how the space will be used.

Oustalet wants to demolish the annexed portion of the building, facing State Street, to expand the car lot to allow Bubba Oustalet Ford to display more vehicles.

“We need that for an additional display area,” Oustatlet said. “We feel like we can store an extra 60 vehicles in the front of our dealership where we have access to show the vehicles, our sales consultants to see the vehicles and see the guests and wait on them in a timely manner. We know it is going to give us increased sales just by the visibility.”

The Ford dealership has also been landlocked for 66 years, he said.

In addition to providing more parking for the dealership, the project would include providing six parking spots for the apartments, which Oustalet said are needed to create living spaces in the downtown area.

“Since 1952 when my father came here there has been a lack of residential and rental property,” Oustalet said. “Many people don’t realize when my dad bought the dealership he actually lived with Fred and Ruth Zigler for six months.”

Oustalet said within the next several months the Zigler Annex would be demolished to make way for the car lot.

Mayor Henry Guinn is excited about the future of the building and what it would mean to the downtown area.

“This is great news for the city because it means we will have taken a facility which has been out of commission for some time and bring it back to life,” Guinn said.

Guinn said he supports the plans because they will mean additional revenue for the city by generating more people and traffic downtown.

“Any time a car dealership can expand its sales, it can do wonders for our tax base and the apartments will mean additional residences to enhance foot traffic downtown which can increase local sales,” Guinne said.

Under the agreement, both parties have been given 12 months to begin construction.

Both properties have deteriorated and would be costly to the city to renovate and maintain, Guinn said. The estimated cost of renovating or replacing the structure was $3 million in 2011.

“Right now the facility in it’s current state is a liability for the city, so to have investors willing to put that kind of money in to make upscale apartments and expand its dealership, we are very lucky,” Guinn said.

Sabbaghian has a good track record within the city for renovating old properties. In recent years he has renovated the old Ardoin’s drugstore, Calcasieu Marine Bank and the Zigler hotel as downtown apartments. 

He also renovated the old Walmart store for a medical office building, the former Courville furniture store for business space and the former Stine’s store for the Grand Marais events centers, which includes several businesses.

‘There are leaks everywhere, there’s water damage … all kind of problems with it, but I see a lot of potential in it.’

Dr. Ben Sabbaghian

Speaking of old city hall

””

An eyesore in downtown Jennings could soon be turned into apartments and business spaces, according to plans presented Tuesday by two local real estate investors. 

Doris MaricleJefferson Davis Parish Reporter
https://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/2/0b/363/20b363ec-3a6d-11e7-be79-bf9dc8973cf5.4ddcfc90d57047524e082314ecc99992.png

Crime

Arrest made in LaGrange Street shooting

Crime

6/4: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

President Biden’s brother, son’s widow among witnesses expected at Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial

Crime

Iowa man gets 10-year sentence for sexual battery, domestic abuse

Local News

Yet another round of thunderstorms expected this afternoon

life

Westlake Recreation Center renamed after local ‘icon’

Local News

‘This close’ but Tigers can’t hold on, season ends

LSU Sports

‘This close,’ but Tigers come home empty

life

United Way empowering the youth of SW La. with Summer of Service initiative

Local News

Lawmakers approve surgical castration of child sex offenders

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Free junior golf clinic

Crime

Crimes against nature conviction, sentence will stand

Local News

Sexually transmitted disease rates a cause for concern in La.

Crime

6/3: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

Travel: Hot baths at Hot Springs

Local News

Stine legislation receives national coverage

Local News

Final budget restores teacher stipends, cuts early childhood education spending

Local News

Moore headed to Indiana

life

McNeese recognizes its spring semester honor graduates

Local News

Coushatta Tribe in line for $1.3M million in funding for infrastructure, road upgrades

Crime

Sheriff: Body found near road a hit-and-run victim

life

Sowela announces spring 2024 graduates

Local News

Tigers take two on Sunday to set up winner-take-all for Monday

McNeese Sports

Ex-McNeese golfer wins with dad’s help