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Former Assisted Living Center Becomes High-End Apartments

31 May 2014, 4:29 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

St. Anna’s, a 40,000-square-foot former assisted living center, is set to be redeveloped into high-end apartments, reports Canal Street Beat. Real estate investor and developer Tom Winingder is expected to break ground in June on the 1823 Prytania St. project and wrap up construction in approximately 10 months.

Upon completion, the still-to-be-named apartment complex will feature 23 units, 14 of which will be two-bedroom apartments. Six one-bedroom units and three three-bedroom residences will also join the floor plan mix. Units will range between 900 and 1,600 square feet in size. An outdoor garden will be paved over for additional off-street parking, bringing the number of parking spaces to 39, or one parking space per bedroom. The Lower Garden District community will rent units at above-market rates.

Local firm Palmisano Contractors will handle construction, while Studio WTA is the designated architect. Although the entire cost of the redevelopment has yet to be made public, part of the necessary financing will be secured through state and federal historic tax credits, due to the structure’s historic building status. Built in 1853, it initially served as St. Anna’s Asylum for the Relief of Destitute Females and Their Helpless Children of All Religion.

According to Canal Street Beat, Tom Wingdinger bought the three-story former assisted living center in November 2013 for $3.7 million from Lambeth House, a senior citizen community. The latter, which assumed control of the asset in 2011, operated a supportive living facility at the Prytania Street property with assisted living, nursing and memory care services. It transferred those services to Saint Anna’s at Lambeth House, a new facility it opened in November 2013.

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Image via Google Maps

$22M Rehab Facility Breaks Ground in New Orleans BioDistrict

24 May 2014, 3:29 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Cobalt Medical Development, a Dallas-based private healthcare real estate development and investment company, broke ground on a $22 million healthcare rehabilitation center in Mid-City, Canal Street Beat reported.

As previously reported, the private healthcare developer announced plans for the facility in early fall of 2013, targeting groundbreaking by fall 2014 at the latest. The 65,000-square-foot facility is being developed on Bienville Avenue, on a vacant site adjacent to the Lindy Boggs Medical Center. The state-of-the-art medical center will feature traumatic brain injury, concussion and Parkinson’s care, with 60 inpatient care beds. The facility will offer a variety of rehab services, with both inpatient and outpatient care programs. Named Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital of New Orleans, the two-story facility will feature hotel-like amenities.

According to Canal Street Beat, the first level will comprise the 16-bed traumatic brain injury rehab unit, an emergency room, a laboratory, an X-ray facility, a speech therapy unit, a full-service kitchen and a dining area, as well as management facilities such as administration offices, a materials management unit and a loading dock. The second story will comprise 44 inpatient beds, associated support facilities and the hospital pharmacy. The rehab center will also feature a covered trellis with ambulation course, while rooms will offer hotel-style amenities such as hotel-type safes and iPads. A number of patient rooms will feature couches.

The rehab center is expected to create 165 permanent jobs over the course of three years, consisting of medical and medical support staff, as well as facility maintenance and food service jobs. Development is projected to create 165 construction jobs.  Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital of New Orleans is targeting a summer 2015 opening. The facility will be located right on the edge of the New Orleans BioDistrict, a 1,500-acre state-enabled biosciences economic development district.

Click here for additional New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of Cobalt Medical Development

Nation’s Only Downtown Outlet Center Opens in New Orleans

19 May 2014, 2:33 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Howard Hughes Corp.’s much anticipated The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is gearing up for its Memorial Day Weekend grand opening. Set to welcome shoppers from May 22, Riverwalk will be the only downtown outlet center in the U.S.

Announced in the summer of 2012, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is the renovation and expansion of the former Riverwalk Marketplace shopping center at 500 Port of New Orleans. As previously reported, the project represents a $70 million investment that overhauled an aging mall that had not been updated since 1986. The redevelopment also added an extra 50,000 square feet of space, for a current total just short of 250,000 square feet. Estimates show that development created around 700 construction jobs. The new mall has also created several hundred new jobs.

In addition to the cosmetic aspects of the upgrade and expansion, redevelopment work was necessary to accommodate national retailers targeted by the developer.  The new tenant roster includes many local favorites and a bevy of well-known national retailers, several of which will be opening their first location in Louisiana. Among the outlet mall’s anchor tenants are Forever 21, Last Call Studio by Neiman Marcus, Coach Factory Store and Coach Men’s Factory Store. Further tenants include Café du Monde, Gap Outlet, Puma, Raising Cane’s, Kenneth Cole Company Store, Red Mango, Kay Jewelers, Hartstrings Childrenswear and many more. The tenant mix was planned to please both local customers and the steady stream of tourists that visit the Big Easy and congregate in the downtown area.

“Our redevelopment and repositioning of this symbolic riverfront property will deliver a distinct mix of retail and entertainment offerings unmatched in the region,” said Grant Herlitz, Howard Hughes’ president. “Beyond the impact of these compelling options for locals and visitors, we are pleased to be a part of the continued revitalization of New Orleans.”

The redevelopment of Riverwalk is also important in that it increases options in the city’s underserved retail market, which has 30 percent less retail surface per capita than the national average, due in great part to Hurricane Katrina –although the NOLA market already had retail shortages prior to the 2005 disaster.  City officials have been working constantly since Katrina to attract more retail to the city and re-establish the Big Easy as a shopping destination.  More retail options go beyond making shopping easier and more accessible to the general population; new stores help eliminate blight, spur neighborhood development, eliminate food deserts, bring much needed jobs and increase the city’s tax base. In the past two years, the city has experienced a veritable retail boom: Walgreens, Whole Foods, Walmart, Costco, H&M, Tiffany’s and Dillard’s are only some of the national retailers returning to the Big Easy or breaking into the market. Several local retail options – some of them with significant historic importance, such as the Circle Food Store – have also rebuilt. Even developments that were halted as a result of the Great Recession, such as Fremaux Town Center, have restarted development.

The only less-than-desirable impact of Riverwalk is that it stopped the redevelopment of the 150-acre hurricane-marred Six Flags amusement park. As previously reported, a joint venture formed by DAG Development and Provident Realty Advisors officially killed plans to redevelop the site into the 400,000-square-foot Jazzland Outlet Mall and entertainment boardwalk, claiming that the $40 million project  was made superfluous by the Howard Hughes project.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Images courtesy of The Howard Hughes Corp.

IndyCar Race Headed for NOLA

10 May 2014, 4:18 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

New Orleans will host a Verizon IndyCar Series race in 2015, IndyCar officials and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced, along with Laney Chouest, owner of NOLA Motorsport Park, the future venue of the popular event. Dubbed Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, the internationally televised event will be organized by Andretti Sports Marketing and will be part of the IndyCar Verizon Series Championship, which features the drivers and cars of the famed Indianapolis 500 race.

Set to take place in Avondale, 14 miles from downtown New Orleans, the race would be part of a three-day festival-style event that will include practice sessions, time trials, music, food, entertainment and a showcasing of New Orleans and Louisiana culture and entertainment, leading up to a Sunday race.  According to NOLA Motorsport Park estimates, the event can attract as many as 80,000 visitors over its three-day duration and have a direct economic impact north of $100 million over at least three years.

Pending state legislature approval, the state will provide a one-time contribution of $4.5 million for the motor park. The state contribution paired with a yet-to-be-disclosed private investment from the motor park will be used for facility and track improvements, although according to The Boston Herald, the venue is capable of handling an IndyCar race as is. Among the proposed changes at the 2.75-mile road course are a new pit entrance, a wider and longer pit lane, straightaway enhancements and perimeter fencing.

Designed by Alan Wilson, the $60 million NOLA Motorsport Park opened in 2011. The 750-acre venue is located south of the TPC Louisiana Golf Course in Avondale, Jefferson Parish.

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Image courtesy of NOLA Motorsport Park via Facebook.

New Orleans Investments Create Hundreds of New IT, Industrial Jobs

2 May 2014, 6:41 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

New Orleans recently realized a slew of investments worth tens of millions and several hundred new jobs. The investment will also boost the local real estate market, specifically the industrial sector.

Probably the most significant of these investments is TCI Plastics’ 500,000-square-foot logistics expansion at the Port of New Orleans.  Parent company Jensen Cos. announced that the $36.5 million investment will retain 200 existing jobs and create 160 new ones by 2020, with an average salary of $33,400 plus benefits. The project is also expected to generate 183 new indirect jobs, rounding up the total workforce impact to 343 new positions.

TCI will develop the new logistics facility near its existing France Road Wharf hub, within the mega-plastics district the company is creating at an inner harbor cargo site in Gentilly. To accommodate the new structure, as well as future expansions, TCI will spend $3.1 million to acquire 32 acres of land from the Port of New Orleans. TCI will also create a rail spur connecting its facility to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, an investment that is expected to be offset by a performance-based Economic Development Award tax incentive package granted by the state of Louisiana. It is also expected to make use of Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. The project is planned for a mid-2014 groundbreaking and completion in the third quarter of 2016.

Also set for a mid-2014 groundbreaking is Agrico Sales’ new 56,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in eastern New Orleans. The $2 million facility will be a relocation and expansion of Agrico’s current manufacturing facility located in Bridge City, Jefferson Parish. The relocation will retain the company’s 35 current employees and add 25 new direct jobs, with average salaries of $40,000 plus benefits.  The project, set to wrap up by the end of the year, is expected to create an additional 421 indirect jobs, as well.

The Louisiana Governor’s Office also announced that 4th Source Inc. will relocate its corporate headquarters from Atlanta to metro New Orleans and establish a new technology and IT services facility in Kenner, La. By 2018, the relocation is projected to create 320 new jobs, with an average annual salary of $50,000 plus benefits, and 412 new indirect jobs.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of Port of New Orleans via Facebook.

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