e'tage gardens


Onsite Design + Development


Project Details


Site Plan

Etage Gardens Site Plan

Government St. + Croydon Ave.
Exciting Smart Residential Community Development


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E’tage Gardens

A Planned Unit Neighborhood conceived out of traditional residential design, open space connectivity, and smart planning practices.

This proposed (8) Unit development provides Single Family Detached Housing on residential lots of 5000-6000 SF in size w/ 85’ – 115’ Street and/or Open Space Frontage(s). The proposed density for the project is 5.7 Homes Per Acre in accordance with East Baton Rouge Parish’s Future BR Plan. Typical home size is estimated to be 1750 – 3500 SF at 1-2 Stories in Height. Development and Individual Lot Open Space provided yields 15-25% on average.

This project is designed to promote views in/out of site, pedestrian walkability, community connectivity, historic preservation, and high quality residential housing. Through the implementation of restrictive Design Guidelines, an Architectural/Planning Review Board, the Home Owners Association, and a highly qualified ‘Smart Housing’ team – E’tage Gardens will be one of the premier developments in the Goodwood Community. Use(s) will be limited to Single Family Detached Housing, Landscape Amenities, and Open Spaces for gatherings of residents and their guests.

The land (1.4 Acre Tract) has never been developed and contains onsite utilities, corner exposure, and 8-9 healthy and mature trees that will be protected and incorporated into the landscape. E’tage Gardens intends to attract responsible home owners, citizens, and tax payers in an area of Baton Rouge adjacent to: Towne Center at Cedar Lodge, Mid City / Capital Heights / Garden District, Historic Government, Downtown Baton Rouge, The New Baton Rouge Main Library Location, Independence Park, Jefferson / Goodwood Shopping Centers, and convenient arterial connections to I-10 and I-12.

Model for Development

Mike Hogstrom at E'tage SiteAdvocate Article: Planner, designer gets good initial reviews for Government Street concept

By Timothy Boone Advocate business writer

For nearly a year and a half, Michael Hogstrom passed by an undeveloped tract of land at the intersection of Government Street and Croydon Avenue while commuting to work from his Capital Heights home.

“I could not figure why that property had not been developed,” said Hogstrom, the owner of Onsite Design, a real estate planning and design firm. After all, the land was right between downtown and Towne Center and very close to amenities such as Independence Park, the Main Library and BREC’s Liberty Lagoon. “Most properties that are vacant in a good area, they’re usually contaminated, there’s a story behind it.”

After doing some research, Hogstrom found the 1.4 acre site was used as farmland 40 years ago.

There was talk about putting condos there shortly after Hurricane Katrina, but nothing happened.

Hogstrom’s initial curiosity led him to more than a year of meetings with landowners, nearby residents, elected officials, city-parish planners and others, all in an attempt to get the land rezoned for a smart growth development. Last week, the Metro Council approved a request to rezone the land as an infill small planned unit development. It clears the way for work to begin early next year on E’tage Gardens, a community development with eight homes Hogstrom expects will sell for an average of $345,000. The one- and two-story houses will range in size from 1,500 to 3,000 square feet.

Hogstrom and supporters of E’tage Gardens say the development is a model for denser, creative infill development in Baton Rouge, one of the key points of FutureBR, the city-parish’s land use plan that was approved last fall. Hogstrom has even used the FutureBR logo on marketing material for E’tage Gardens, saying the development is a “flagship project” for the land use plan.

“When we first met with the planning commission, they said it was a great FutureBR project,” Hogstrom said. The logo doesn’t constitute an endorsement, but shows Onsite Design believes in the land use plan, he said.

Elizabeth “Boo” Thomas, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Planning Excellence, said she’s pleased to see a real estate developer embrace FutureBR. “Hogstrom is doing an innovative thing and we commend him,” she said. E’tage Gardens will even use ideas mentioned in FutureBR that aren’t part of the city code yet, like storing trash cans out of sight.

“This has all the bells and whistles that FutureBR contemplates,” said Charles Landry, the prominent smart growth attorney who is representing E’tage Gardens. “This is exciting and what we really want to have. Mike has done an extraordinary job.”

Hogstrom, 35, moved to Baton Rouge from Texas in 2008. An LSU graduate, he spent years working with architecture and design firms on projects in the U.S. and Europe. E’tage Gardens is his first attempt at real estate development.

“One constant thread in my work is that smart architecture and smart land planning work together,” he said. Hogstrom’s work has focused on how small boxes (houses) interact with large boxes (developments).

To that end, the development will feature open spaces and sidewalks to promote community connectivity. To further enhance the feel of E’tage Gardens, all of the homes that face the open spaces or streets must have exterior porches that take up more than half the façade. “We want to make it pedestrian-friendly,” Hogstrom said.

Hogstrom will establish design guidelines for all of the homes in E’tage Gardens to make the diverse mix of houses relate to one another. Plans are to start construction on at least three houses by summer 2013. One of them will be occupied by Hogstrom.

Although land sales were on hold until the Metro Council approved the rezoning request, Hogstrom said he had heard “quite a bit of interest from builders and homeowners.” Burns & Company is handling the marketing and real estate for the development. The target market for the development is empty nesters and young families that want a smaller, nicer house.

Dennis Vidrine, president of the Goodwood Property Owners Association, said he’s “cautiously optimistic” E’tage Gardens will have a positive impact on the immediate area. The association didn’t come out for or against the rezoning request. “The developer worked hard to sell the concept and now has set high expectations,” Vidrine said in an e-mail. “We expect that he will live up to his promises.”

Hogstrom said the development is already having an impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. He’s been contacted by three nearby homeowners, who liked the images they saw in the marketing material for E’tage Gardens and now want him to do additions to their houses.

“We’ve gotten over $500,000 in contracts for work on homes in Goodwood, Pollard Estates and Lafayette,” he said. “They’ve seen that Onsite Design brings a little something to the table.”

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OnSite Design ANNUAL REPORT 2013Designer & Developer

Business Report’s Annual Report 2013

Michael Hogstrom believes Baton Rouge has so much opportunity for smart growth, he left his lead design position at a major architecture and engineering firm last year to explore that potential.

Smart Growth is a comprehensive approach to urban planning that creates attractive, affordable neighborhoods with easy access to transportation, schools, workplaces and shops. This is the concept that successful American cities were founded upon centuries ago. “I would love to embrace the vision that Mid City Baton Rouge can transition into a strong urban fabric and fulfill its potential as a memorable and identifiable place over the next 20 years,” says Hogstrom. “It’s about one block at a time and one street at a time, enhancing the streetscape, creating healthy, safe and walkable places where you can live, eat, work and play.”

This method of thinking is the cornerstone of FuturEBR, the city’s comprehensive development plan. FuturEBR is a roadmap for parish wide improvement and revitalization aimed at better quality of life for residents and an attractive environment to entice and retain productive citizens. While infrastructure, open space, transportation and other municipal services play a role, the majority of the 430-page plan is devoted to land usage issues.

Since he moved to Baton Rouge in 2009, Hogstrom’s Onsite Design + Development has collaborated with several local and successful designers and organizations. Formally trained as a developer, land planner and architect, Hogstrom believes the same tenets used in quality community development are essential to neighborhoods— both established and new. “There is a misconception that resisting Smart Growth design is the best way to preserve the character of a neighborhood,” says Hogstrom. “Ultimately, that isolationism and stagnation can lead to urban decay. However, if transition is implemented the right way, it can help to galvanize a historical neighborhood into a thriving stage.” Soon, a microcosm of his firm’s design philosophy will be on display at E’tage Gardens in Goodwood, Onsite’s first development.

Hogstrom plans to transform an empty parcel at the corner of Croydon and Government streets into eight single-family homes. More than just placing houses on lots, Hogstrom and his design team seek to use architectural elements to create a sense of community. By incorporating responsible, useful and whimsical design elements such as large porches, common green spaces and historical facades, Hogstrom hopes to promote face-to-face social interactions and civic pride. “E’tage Gardens is a FuturEBR Flagship Project and will be a place for homeowners and neighbors to be proud of.”

Although the signature project is not expected to be completed until 2014, several of the homes have already been sold.

While Onsite is now working on custom homes in Goodwood, Pollard Estates, Southdowns and Capital Heights, the firm is also managing design projects in Lafayette, Houston, Dallas and Boston. In addition, several of the state’s largest builders hired the industrious small firm to provide neighborhood and home plans.

As a seven-person firm, Onsite is nimble enough to handle jobs ranging from remodeling a courtyard or a 1,200-square-foot A. Hays Town home to a 5,000-square-foot new traditional or contemporary home.

Onsite’s projects reflect Hogstrom’s strong neighborhood aesthetic. His unique perspective comes from degrees in architecture and architectural history, as well as experience at design studios in Boston, Princeton, Cambridge, London, Paris, Edinburgh, Houston and Memphis.

Despite his extensive travels, Hogstrom is excited to call the Capital City home. “I like the pace here. I love the people,” he says. “Our goal is to bring experience on 250-plus projects in 25-plus states to the Capital Region. Onsite is about personality and working hard to get things right the first time. Whether you decide to use us or not—we are always here for consultation.”



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Corner of Government St. & Croydon Ave.

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