$35M Low-Income Seniors Housing Facility Opens in New Orleans High-Rise

The Housing Authority of New Orleans recently provided important updates on the efforts being made to provide safe, affordable and equitable housing to the residents of New Orleans, especially in the context of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

Marais Apartments

The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) recently provided important updates on efforts to provide safe, affordable and equitable housing to the residents of New Orleans, especially as part of rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Modernization is well underway at the 483-unit Guste housing development’s Guste III phase. And redevelopment is moving along on phase two of the $148 million, 276-unit Fabourg Lafitte project. Both projects are mixed-income communities.  At the same time, the 51-unit, $14 million Florida housing community is nearing completion.

The most important update given by HANO, however, was the recent opening of the 112-unit Marais Apartments, a $35 million low-income seniors housing complex located at 101 Marais St. in the upper Canal Street area. The project is the first off-site housing within the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative currently revitalizing the historic Iberville and Tremé neighborhoods of central New Orleans.  It is also a significant redevelopment project, having given a new life to the blighted former Texaco high-rise. As previously reported, a landmark of downtown New Orleans and part of the National Register of Historic Places, the structure had sat vacant for 15 years and had not fared well during Katrina.

The 17-story Marais Apartments comprises 100 one-bedroom apartments and 12 studios available for seniors 62 and older. Amenities at the former New Orleans Texaco headquarters include a fitness facility, community room with kitchen, laundry facilities, multi-purpose room, reading and computer room,  beauty salon, intercom-access gardening terrace and 17th-floor terrace with sweeping views of the Big Easy.  The tower features 2,000 square feet of retail space fronting Canal Street, which is up for lease.

Marais is an income-restricted property. Residents can not earn more than $24,640 (singles) or $28,240 (couples), reports The Times-Picayune, adding that rents clock in at $650 for studios and $740 for one-bedroom units. The same source reported that the occupancy was at 94 percent.

Marais Apartments is the result of a collaboration between HANO, the city of New Orleans and HRI Properties. Landis Construction served as general contractor on the project. Financing was amassed from a multitude of public sources, such as a subordinate loan from the Louisiana Office of Community Development, Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and tax-exempt bonds issued by the Louisiana Housing Corp. Private financial project partners include AEGON USA Realty Advisors LLC, Chase Bank and Stonehenge Capital Co.

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Images courtesy of HRI Properties