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$30M American Can Apartments Headed for Upgrades

9 Aug 2014, 4:54 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The 268-unit American Can Apartments, which sold for an impressive $30.8 million in the fall of 2013, is headed for some upgrades, as per the original intent of new owner Audubon Communities Management, reported Canal Street Beat. The proposed upgrades, the cost of which has yet to be disclosed, include new signage, new screens, new glass in bay openings, a new retail and parking configuration, and a new raised walkway and sidewalk, according to paperwork filed with the New Orleans Historic District Landmark Commission (HDLC). The reconfiguration of retail and parking spaces will see the addition of 1,804 square feet of retail, for a total of 20,759 square feet and the reduction of parking from a total of 76 spaces to 67. The redevelopment is signed by local architecture firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.

The work — which targets retail façade upgrades, improving curb appeal and pedestrian circulation — was met with somewhat mixed feelings by the HDLC’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC), which agreed that the originally filed plans would turn the historic loading dock of the landmark building into a homogeneous strip mall. According to a letter sent to the owners, “the redevelopment should use the existing architectural vocabulary reflecting the materiality and proportions of the original industrial building. The ARC did agree, however, that a simplified and uniform glass storefront could recall the open bays characteristic of the original loading dock.” The ARC also made recommendations to reduce the size of the proposed uniform signage.

Located on 3200 Orleans Ave., the former can manufacturing facility and warehouse is one of the most sought-after residential addresses in New Orleans. Rents at American Can range between $1,050 and $1,450 for a 570- to 1,030-square-foot one-bedroom apartment. Two-bedroom units that range between 991 and 1,612 square feet rent at a $1,550 to $2,300 monthly rate. The apartment community also offers three-bedroom units. All units are loft style and feature the original hardwood floors and stained concrete, as well as 13-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, kitchen appliances and full-size washer/dryers. Amenities at the downtown apartment complex include an Olympic-style swimming pool, high-end fitness center, landscaped courtyard, covered grill and picnic area, conference and entertainment room, on-site storage, on-site covered and gated parking, and street-level retail.

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Images via New Orleans One Stop App 

138-Key Warehouse District Hotel Moves Toward Approval

2 Aug 2014, 3:01 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Baronne Street side of project site

New Orleans’ focus on preserving the city’s historic charm and original look can make development cumbersome at times, as proved by the recent opposition sparked by a proposed 178-key Cambria Suites in the historic Warehouse District. City officials can be resistant toward projects attempting to push imposed restrictions. But developer HW Real Estate Development Corp. seems to be maneuvering well through the city’s requirements. According to a report by Canal Street Beat, the Chicago-based company, planning to develop a 138-room hotel on the corner of Julia and Baronne streets, has received the Historic District Landmark Commission (HDLC) Architectural Review Committee’s approval without objections and is moving forward for HDLC approval before going before the city council.

Julia Street side of project site

Located on a 26,000-square-foot L-shaped tract, the hotel will have a three- and four-story frontage on Julia Street, a five-story portion facing Carondelet Street and a six-story component facing Baronne Street. The site, owned by Kenner resident Susan Swanner, currently holds a vacant lot and a parking shed, which will require demolition along with a two-story structure on an adjacent lot, according to papers filed with HDLC and available through Nola One Stop App.

The 81,096-square-foot hotel will include a bar and a 2,400-square-foot restaurant. Rooftop amenities such as a pool and spa are being considered, while a 10-foot area on Julia Street will be landscaped into an open-air green space. The hotel’s 138 keys, 39 of which will be suites, will be spread on floors two through five, while level six will house a rooftop penthouse. Level one will have a portion of parking and some of the yet-to-be-announced amenities.  Although the developer requested five of its required 46 parking spaces to be waived, the HDLC Architectural Review Committee denied the request, reported the Miami Herald.

The developer has not yet decided on a flag but is targeting a high-end sustainable hotel with LEED certification and will choose its operator accordingly. Eskew+Dumez+Ripple is the project’s architect.

 Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image via Nola One Stop App

Tulane Avenue Office Building Set for Apartment Conversion; Commerce Street Warehouse to Make Way for Apartments

28 Jul 2014, 4:02 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

California Building

The 10-story office building on the corner of Tulane Avenue and South Rampart Street is set to be redeveloped into apartments at a cost of $15 million. According to plans and permits filed with the city of New Orleans, the historic office building known as the California Building will be converted into a 153-unit residential project featuring 139 apartment units and 14 penthouses. According to the building permit application, available through the city’s One Stop App, there will be a total of 155 residential units, of which 134 will be one-bedroom, 15 two-bedroom and six efficiency units.

The general contractor for the project is Metairie-based MALIN Construction Co., while New Orleans-based Kenneth Growland of Metro Studios is the architect. Paperwork identifies the owner as Craig Boes of 1111 Tulane Partners LLC.

The project will comprise apartments on floors two through 10, with parking located on the first, second and mezzanine levels. Retail will have space on the first floor. According to Canal Street Beat, the mixed-use project will comprise three retail units of 2,379, 3,476 and 1,713 square feet renting at $30 per square foot through Corporate Realty. Canal Street also reported that the structure was purchased in 2013 for $4 million.

In other news, developer Scott Begg and Metro Studio have partnered on a proposed six-story apartment project on Commerce Street. According to Canal Street Beat, the developing team seeks approval from the Historic District Landmark Commission to tear down a two-story warehouse and replace it with a 65-foot-tall structure. The new building would contain one level of parking and a five-story residential component with 10 two-bedroom units of almost 2,000 square feet in size. The property was purchased in 2012 for $535,000 by Scott Begg.

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Image via one Stop App NOLA

$35M Warehouse District Hotel Sparks Local Opposition

12 Jul 2014, 5:06 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

A new 75-foot hotel proposed in the Crescent City’s Warehouse District is heating up talks regarding the city’s master plan and height limitations.  The project, proposed by Ohio-based Filmore Hospitality, envisions a two-building, 178-key Cambria Suites hotel, complete with a meeting room and restaurant, for an L-shaped tract on the 600 block of Tchoupitoulas Street, reports The New Orleans Advocate. The site, comprising 10 lots, is currently a surface parking lot but is owned by hotelier Warren Reuther, who’s got a sales contract in place with Filmore for the site. Filmore’s project – boasting an 85-foot height at the time – was voted down by the City Planning Commission due to concerns regarding traffic, height and disrupting the historic character of the neighborhood. The area height limitation is 65 feet and five stories, while Filmore’s hotel, somewhat downsized from its initial 85 feet, would rise six stories high, with a 75-foot height at its Commerce Street entrance and a 65-foot height on the side fronting Tchoupitoulas Street.

Granaio Lofts

The site is in Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s district; she recently rejected the proposed $20 million luxury apartment project Granaio due to similar concerns, reports Canal Street Beat. The project, helmed by local real estate developer Josh Bruno, envisioned an 18-story apartment project with a two-story penthouse on top. Designed by local architect Wayne Troyer of Studio WTA, it would have included amenities such as a pool, outdoor balconies, private parking, Crestoron technology to control energy usage, lighting, heating, cooling and floodwater management, and a green living bio wall. Interiors would have been signed by Philippe Starck, with internationally awarded urban landscape designer Raymond Jungles also contributing to the project.

The New Orleans City Council is now expected to make a decision regarding the Cambria Suites hotel. Several locals, organized as the group Residents for Responsible Development, have organized a rally to oppose the $35 million project, reported The Times Picayune.

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Image courtesy of Granaio Lofts via Facebook 

Archdiocese of New Orleans Expands Seniors Housing Network

29 Jun 2014, 3:39 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Rouquette IV

Cristopher Homes Inc. has cleared another road stop on the way to building a new seniors housing community in Slidell.  According to The Times-Picayune, the Slidell City Council annexed a 12-acre site fronting US 190/Gause Boulevard West to Slidell city limits and changed the zoning from highway commercial (HC2-2) to high-density urban (A-8). The developers plan to enlarge the water line servicing the site, which could help Slidell with future annexations in the area.

According to The Times-Picayune, the 75-unit senior living complex will take up three acres of the site, leaving the remaining nine acres of wetlands untouched. The Archdiocese of New Orleans will run the housing complex upon completion. Developers have been pursuing the annexation for two years.

Developer Cristopher Homes is a subsidiary of the Archdiocese and has developed a bevy of housing projects, several of which are multi-phase. Cristopher Homes, which describes itself as a provider of “affordable housing for seniors and low-income families for more than 40 years,” is the premier manager of affordable seniors housing in the Gulf Area. Prior to Katrina, the Archdiocese’s housing agency managed 25 properties with more than 2,500 HUD-subsidized seniors housing units and a 200-unit HUD-subsidized family housing facility. According to its website, Cristopher Homes now manages 16 apartment complexes totaling 1,953 units and houses elderly and special needs adults.

Among the holdings of Cristopher Homes and the Archdiocese of New Orleans is the 66-unit Rouquette IV seniors housing facility in Mandeville, La. Expected to open this year and designed by Holly & Smith Architects, the new three-story facility is set to replace a building in St. Bernard Parish that was demolished due to extensive damage suffered during Hurricane Katrina. The project received FEMA funding.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image credit: Holly & Smith Architects

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