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The Paramount Starts Pre-Leasing; Market-Rate French Quarter Apartments Announced

14 Sep 2014, 5:55 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Yet another apartment project has been announced for New Orleans’ highly desirable historic downtown core, but unlike most French Quarter developments, this residential project will feature market-rate residences instead of luxury units, reports Canal Street Beat. The 89-unit development is helmed by French Quarter Apartments LP, an entity that consists of SunAmerica Affordable Housing and DIL/SAHP Corp. Both are subsidiaries of AIG Global Real Estate of New York.

If approved by the Vieux Carré Commission (VCC) architectural board, the developers will add a rooftop penthouse and cooling towers to the existing warehouse structure and initiate comprehensive interior renovations at the property. The former Maison Blanche annex’s exterior will not be altered, as the developers will be using federal and state historic tax credits for the $20 million conversion.

According to Canal Street Beat, the 939 Iberville St. project will feature street-level commercial space, an 83-car parking garage, 24 apartments on floors three and four, 23 on the fifth floor and 16 penthouses. Units will average 1,300 square feet and include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Designed by local architect Emile Weil, the historic property was built in the late ’20. The owner-developers purchased the property for $3.9 million in 1998.

The Paramount at South Market

In other residential news, pre-leasing has kicked off at the $48.4 million The Paramount at South Market luxury apartments. The LEED-certified apartment building comprises more than 200 one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging between 594 and 1,276 square feet. Rents start at a monthly $1,465 and go up to $2,935. As previously reported, The Paramount is the first stage of the $200 million multi-phase South Market District set to transform a four-block area of New Orleans’ historic downtown.

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Image courtesy of The Paramount at South Market/The Domain Cos. via Facebook

175 KSF FedEx Distribution Center Coming to Covington

8 Sep 2014, 4:21 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Federal Express is set to develop a 175,000-square-foot distribution center in St. Tammany Parish, creating 800 new jobs, reported The Times-Picayune.  The facility will occupy 15 acres in Northpointe Business Park, a 118-acre industrial park west of Covington.

The facility will feature about 7,500 square feet of office space. Site clearing has started for the project, which will take about 15 months to complete. It will spur significant road improvements in the area, as it is expected to add 580 vehicles to traffic every day. According to Canal Street Beat, Northpointe Business Park is owned by Chris Lope, while the actual site to hold the FedEx facility is owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based Jones Development Co. Rents for industrial space at Northpointe range between $5 and $6 per square foot. The park has 50 acres of undeveloped land left.

This is the second industrial announcement to shake up the Covington area this summer. Earlier this summer, Enviro-Tech Systems (ETS), a full-service water treatment manufacturer, has announced plans to develop a 10,000-square-foot facility. The more than $1 million facility will be located at the company’s existing site on Norwell Drive in Covington. The company’s existing 50-member staff will increase by 50 percent with the new facility. ERS has accessed various state incentives and Small Business Development Center assistance with the help of the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation (STEDF).

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Image courtesy of St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation

$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.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Images via New Orleans One Stop App 

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