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Apartment Community near Big Easy Gets Financial Help

14 Aug 2015, 12:08 pm

By Adelina Osan, Associate Editor

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated more than 70 percent of all housing units in and around New Orleans. Fast forward ten years, and The City that Care Forgot is well on its way to becoming one of the top urban centers in the U.S.—refinancing loan after refinancing loan.

The Crossing Apartments - Metairie LA

The Crossing Apartments – Metairie LA

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. provided a $15.7 million refinancing loan for The Crossings Apartments in Metairie. This refinancing was for the first commercial loan financed by Fannie Mae in the Katrina effected area following the storm in 2005.

Using Fannie Mae’s Early Rate Lock program to structure the fully leveraged, conventional 10-year loan with a 30-year amortization schedule, Walter & Dunlop provided refinance to show the endurance of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina and Fannie Mae’s support of this market immediately following the storm, through the national recession and continuing today.

Located at 2200 Severn Ave. and minutes away from downtown New Orleans, The Crossings Apartments community features 10 three-story apartment buildings adding up to 247 units. Recreational amenities include swimming pools and grilling stations.

“The recovery and growth of the Greater New Orleans area since Hurricane Katrina has been phenomenal. This has largely been made possible by the faith and support of lenders like Fannie Mae. Favrot & Shane’s long association with Walker & Dunlop has resulted in another successful collaboration at The Crossings Apartments. We greatly appreciate Stephen’s efforts and look forward to further business in the future,” said in a prepared statement James Favrot, President of Favrot & Shane Companies, Inc.


Image via Yardi Matrix

New Flagship Development – French Quarter to City Park Connector

8 Jul 2015, 2:40 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Sidney D. Torres, IV

Sidney D. Torres, IV

As The City That Care Forgot approaches the fatidic date ten years ago when Hurricane Katrina left it 80 percent flooded, a nine-acre plot sale stands as sign of new development.

A local entrepreneur acquired the land along Bayou St. John in Mid-City. With approximately 380,000 square feet adjacent to the Lafitte Greenway, this is one of the most expansive continuous pieces of land readied for construction in the city.

Sidney Torres, owner of venture capital firm IV Capital, signed the largest transfer of mid-city land in decades and plans to turn it into a high-end mixed-use residential and commercial community with apartments and houses, kayaks and paddleboards along the bayou, fire pits on the bank, children’s playgrounds, as well as bike paths, a gymnasium, café, and boutique hotel. The purchase price was not disclosed by Torres and his business partners.

Bayou St. John Aerial

Bayou St. John Aerial

Torres is joined by Hicham Khods, owner of Camellia Grill who created the popular Nola restaurant in the French Quarter in collaboration with Emeril Lagasse, and entrepreneur and developer Joe Jaeger, owner of MCC Group.

“We have already been contacted by an experienced builder about developing two 80,000 square-foot parcels into apartments and we encourage people to bring their best ideas to the table,” Torres said. “This is an entirely new approach to development. If you have a great idea, Bayou St. John is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.”

Corporate Expansion Brings Job Growth to Metro NOLA

23 Jun 2015, 6:52 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor


Netchex to add 240 new jobs in Mandeville

Payroll-services company Netchex will be growing Greater New Orleans’ job base, the company announced, adding 240 new direct jobs at its Mandeville, La., corporate headquarters in St. Tammany Parish and investing $5.3 million.

Founded in 2013 in Mandeville, Netchex has grown into a leading provider of payroll, human resources, time and attendance, and benefit services in the southern U.S., with additional offices in Dallas, Atlanta and Jackson, Miss. The company currently has a total workforce of 120, of which 86 are based in Mandeville. Netchex now plans to increase its Mandeville workforce by 240 new direct jobs, with an average salary of $43,800 plus benefits. To accommodate this growth, the company will lease 30,000 square feet of new office space. Netchex plans to relocate to the new space in early 2016, and  occupy it for two years while its new corporate headquarters building is completed.

Netchex will make use of the Louisiana Economic Development (LED) FastStart workforce development program, Louisiana’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive, and the state’s Quality Jobs Program. LED estimates that Netchex’s investment will generate an additional 120 new indirect jobs, pushing the company’s total impact to 360 new jobs.

Image credit: Netchex via Facebook

Ashford Trust Launches Key Money in NOLA

17 Jun 2015, 2:53 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Le Pavillon Hotel

Le Pavillon Hotel

Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. has debuted its recently announced “key money” concept with the acquisition of a New Orleans luxury hotel. Ashford Trust purchased the 226-key Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans’ CBD for $62.5 million, $4 million of which will be provided by Ashford Inc. in key money consideration. Ashford will provide further acquisition financing through a $43.75 million non-recourse, interest-only mortgage loan. The loan provides for a floating interest rate of LIBOR+5.10 percent and has a two-year term with three one-year extensions. Ashford Trust expects to elevate the property’s trailing 12-month cap rate of 5.8 percent to a forward 12-month cap rate of 7.8 percent.

Ashford Trust picked up the luxury hotel from American Financial Group Inc. Le Pavillion was owned and managed through a subsidiary of Great American Insurance Co. The seller expects to recognize a non-core after-tax gain of about $25 million on the sale. Remington Lodging has taken over as property manager.

Built in 1907, Le Pavillion is within walking distance of the French Quarter, Mercedes Benz Superdome, the Smoothie King Arena and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Amenities include 7,800 square feet of meeting space, a year-round heated rooftop pool and an onsite Cajun and creole restaurant.

Image credit: Le Pavillon Hotel via Facebook

Lower Ninth Welcomes New Community Center

11 Jun 2015, 2:22 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Mayor Mitch Landrieu celebrates inaugartion of Sanchez Center with Lower Ninth residents

New Orleans’ historic Lower Ninth Ward celebrated a major milestone in its recovery with the inauguration of a new community center that will offer services and activities throughout the age spectrum of the district’s residents. It will also increase police protection in the troubled neighborhood, which posts crime rates significantly higher than the national average, according to Point2Homes data.

Sanchez Center incorporates a health clinic, a senior center, a neighborhood commercial kitchen, multi-purpose and crafts classrooms, a computer lab, a reading room, a music room, art and dance studios, a gymnasium, a regulation-size indoor basketball court with retractable bleachers and performance stage, an 82-foot Olympic-size swimming pool and a game room. The energy-efficient facility also features bike racks and a landscaped outdoor activities area.

The $20.5 million Sanchez Center was developed through a public-private partnership, with financing provided through FEMA public assistance and Disaster Community Development Block Grant, Insurance and City Bond funds. The development team included 11 local disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) firms and Gibbs Construction of New Orleans, with design by Perez, APC of New Orleans.

The 65,000-square-foot facility replaces a 50,000-square-foot community center demolished in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Two more community centers are scheduled to open this summer in the neighborhoods of St. Claude and Bywater.

Image credit: Mayor Mitch Landrieu – City of New Orleans via Facebook

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