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$130M New Orleans East Hospital Opens

29 Aug 2014, 2:02 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this month brings sobering reminders of how much reconstruction is still ahead, but also a hopeful sense of progress. Among the latest encouraging milestones on the city’s long road to recovery is the recent opening of the $130 million New Orleans East Hospital.

Located at 5620 Read Blvd., the 80-bed facility was completed in May and has now received accreditation. It sits on the 23-acre former site of Methodist Hospital, which was severely damaged by Katrina. New Orleans East comprises Methodist’s six-story, 133,640-square-foot East Tower and a new three-story, 71,700-square-foot Patient Care Pavilion.

The facility includes 46 medical and surgical beds, ten pediatric medical and surgical beds, a 21-bed emergency department, a 14-bed intensive care unit, a 10-bed intermediate care unit, a seven-bed universal care unit, seven anesthesia and recovery care beds, four operating suites, two endoscopy suites, a catheter lab, an imaging department, a clinical lab, central sterile facilities, a full-service pharmacy, outpatient diagnostic facilities, a cardiac rehabilitation unit, a physical and occupational therapy facility and fitness center. The hospital also includes a suite of 56 administrative offices, eight meeting rooms, a physicians’ lounge, a cafeteria and a gift-shop.

Funding for the project was provided by a $97.6 million HUD-insured mortgage loan, $15 million in Capital Outlay Projects funding, an $8.4 million FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant and close to $1 million in federal grant money for hospital equipment and ensuring the facility’s completion.

The development team included New Orleans-based architecture firms Manning Architects and Eskew-Dumez-Ripple, as well as the Lemoine Co., the project’s Lafayette-based general contractor. The hospital has created 150 new permanent jobs and provided 300 jobs during construction.

The grounds of New Orleans East are also home to a 33,000-square-foot primary care facility operated by Daughters of Charity Health Service. Located at 5630 Read Blvd., the $9 million facility opened in January.

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Image courtesy of Mayor Mitch Landrieu via Facebook 

$14M Walmart Supercenter Opens in New Orleans

23 Aug 2014, 5:30 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

A new Walmart recently opened at 4301 Chef Menteur Highway, making the Gentilly Walmart the second store the big-box retailer has opened this year in the Crescent City.  The $14 million store features around 118,000 square feet and has created approximately 300 new full- and part-time positions.

“The residents in Gentilly deserve increased access to fresh food, pharmacy services and good-paying jobs – this Walmart will provide all of those things,” declared District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett.

Walmart originally approached the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority in 2008 to acquire the Katrina-ravaged site, but only broke ground in September 2012 due to several complications. As previously reported, Walmart proposed to pay $4.3 million for the 12.2-acre site in 2008, but talks fell through; the site remained blighted until 2012, when talks between the two parties were reignited and the property was acquired for $3 million. The site was formerly occupied by the Gentilly Woods shopping center, which sustained significant damage during Hurricane Katrina and was subsequently abandoned. As reported by The Times Picayune, the owners of Gentilly Woods, Thor Equities and Green Tree Realty LLC, received criticism for abandoning the property to blight. NORA, partnering with the state, spent $4.5 million in disaster recovery funds to purchase the site in 2008. According to The Times-Picayune, the site of the new Walmart Supercenter in Gentilly was one of the largest blighted sites in New Orleans and the largest in the neighborhood of Gentilly.

In June, Walmart opened the 177,000-square-foot New Orleans East Walmart at 6000 Bullard Ave., on the site of the Katrina-marred Lakeland Medical Center, bringing a much needed retail venue for the 70,000 residents of New Orleans East. (Additional coverage here.)

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Image courtesy of Walmart Supercenter New Orleans via Facebook

$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.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image via one Stop App NOLA

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