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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.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

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.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

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.



$3M Senior Center to Replace Katrina-Marred Structure

25 Apr 2014, 4:57 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The city of New Orleans, in partnership with FEMA, has broken ground on the new Carrollton Hollygrove Senior Center at 3300 Hamilton St. in the Carrollton Hollygrove neighborhood, the New Orleans Mayor’s Office announced.  The $3 million center will replace the 1920s-built structure destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The 19,000-square-foot facility will be significantly larger than its 10,200-square-foot predecessor. It will feature a variety of senior day care activities and facilities such as a computer and library room, exercise facility, multipurpose venue for arts and crafts, conference room, commercial-grade kitchen, dining lounge and patio, doctor’s office, examination room and social services office. As with the old facility, the new center will be operated by the New Orleans Council on Aging.

“Carrollton Hollygrove was a vital part of the Carrollton-Hollygrove community before Katrina … as not just a senior center but a community focal point for information, education and services that benefited the entire community,” recalled Executive Director of the New Orleans Council on Aging Howard Rogers III.

Designed by In-Site Developments LLC, the new facility is being constructed by Wharton Smith Inc. with disadvantaged business enterprises Alternative Source Inc., Rufino’s Painting & Construction, Mackie One Construction, A&A Mechanical Inc. and Malone Electrical Service Inc. also involved in the development.

With FEMA having declared the previous structure substantially damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the facility became eligible for a 100 percent cost replacement. As such, FEMA will contribute a significant part of the funding for the new facility, while the rest of the funding, necessary due to increased size, will come from city bond funds.

The Carollton Hollygrove Senior Center is expected to be complete in spring 2015.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of the New Orleans Mayor’s Office.



HMC Nabs Management Contract for Slidell Wingate Inn

19 Apr 2014, 4:53 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Dallas-based Hospitality Management Corp. (HMC) has been appointed manager for the new 82-key Wingate Inn Slidell/New Orleans East.

Located in Slidell, just 30 minutes north of New Orleans, the 2013-built hotel is easily accessed from I-10, making it easy to reach local attractions such as the Infinity Science Center, Oak Harbor Golf Club and Fork Pike State Historic Site. It is also adjacent to Oschner Clinic and within walking distance of shopping and dining. Opened in January 2014, the hotel offers amenities such as a fitness center, an indoor heated pool, a spa tub, a business center, meeting and conference rooms, parking (including some that accommodates buses and RVs), a bar and lounge, a gift shop and laundry facilities. Rooms and suites offer complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.

HMC also manages the Microtel Pearl River in Pearl River, also in the Greater New Orleans area, as well as two other Louisiana hotels: the Crowne Plaza Lafayette Airport in Lafayette and the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Gonzales in Gonzales, in the Baton Rouge metro.  The privately owned HMC is one of the oldest independent hotel management firms in the industry. HMC currently manages 24 hotels across the U.S.

In other news, Covington’s Southern Hotel and the city of Covington partnered for a job fair to fill the 27 positions available at the historic boutique hotel set to open in 2014. As previously reported, a group of local investors acquired the Southern Hotel in 2011, along with an adjacent tract, with plans to renovate and return the historic hotel to its original use. The 40-plus key full-service boutique hotel will boast luxury amenities such as a 2,400-square-foot ballroom, spa facilities and a pool.  The hotel will also be home to Ox Lot 9, a restaurant headed by famed chef Jeffrey Hansell.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of Hospitality Management Corp.



Stirling Continues Walgreens Developments with 14 KSF Drug Store in Metairie

14 Apr 2014, 6:25 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Future Location of Metairie Walgreens

Stirling Properties has announced plans to develop a new full-service Walgreens drugstore in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie. Set to rise at the corner of Veterans and Power boulevards, the proposed drugstore will be built in the Barlon Plaza Shopping Center. The store will be a ground-up relocation of an existing Walgreens located within the shopping center.

The new location will be larger, offering 14,000 square feet of retail space, and will feature a full-service pharmacy and drive-through window. Set to break ground in July and be completed in the first quarter of 2015, the development is expected to contribute to the revitalization of Barlon Plaza and the retail corridor where it is located.

Stirling Properties will provide pre-development services such as lease negotiation, permitting, financing, design, and project and construction management.

Ribboncutting at Terrytown Walgreens

Stirling is the preferred developer for the Walgreen Co. in the Gulf South and has developed multiple Walgreens locations throughout the region. This includes the recently opened full-service Walgreens drug store in Terrytown on the Westbank of New Orleans. The store, which opened in late March, is located on the corner of Terry Parkway and Carol Sue Avenue on the site of the former shopping center anchored by A&P Grocery/Eckerd Drug. As previously reported, the 17,384-square-foot store broke ground in April 2013 and is expected to revitalize this retail corridor, as well.

Stirling also handled the full conversion of the historic former Ed Brauner American Legion Post #307 to a 13,000-square-foot Walgreens marquee store (details here), which opened  a little over a year ago.

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Images courtesy of Stirling Properties



Stirling Properties Acquires 256-Unit Luxury Apartment Complex

7 Apr 2014, 2:01 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Stirling Properties has announced the acquisition of Ansley Place, a 246-unit luxury apartment community in Houma, La. Buyer Stirling Communities II L.L.C., a group of investors led by Stirling Properties, closed on the purchase of  the Class A community for an undisclosed amount. The deal included the assumption of an existing HUD 223 (f) loan on the property. The acquisition of Ansley Place has brought the ownership group’s overall portfolio to 1,042 units, all of which are managed by Des Moines-based BH Management Services L.L.C.

Sprawling across 21 acres, the garden-style luxury community comprises 13 two- and three-story apartment buildings, a one-story leasing office and four single-story garage facilities. Amenities include a resort-style swimming pool, fitness center, clubhouse, cyber café, car care center and extra storage. The gated community offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging from 643 to 1,287 square feet and featuring private patios or balconies, sunrooms and oversize closets.

Stirling Properties officials expect a substantial increase in Houma’s and the surrounding area’s populations over the next few years due to a significant uptick in activity at Port Fourchon, the shipyards of Edison Chouest and Bollinger, as well as expansion projects among important service firms in the Houma area.

“With its excellent location, superior floor plans and premier status in the market, Ansley Place offers our investors a high-quality asset located directly in the path of Houma’s growing economy,” commented Justin Landry, head of multi-family asset management for Stirling Properties.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of Ansley Place via Facebook



City Breaks Ground on $9M Lafitte Greenway

1 Apr 2014, 1:30 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, a 2.6-mile multi-use trail and linear park, is now underway, according to the city of New Orleans. The highly anticipated $9.1 million development–bounded by Basin, Lafitte, St. Louis and North Alexander streets–will reclaim for public use an abandoned industrial railway corridor located on the site of the Carondelet Canal, which once provided ships with access to the French Quarter. Development is expected to last 11 months, with a spring 2015 grand opening.

The Lafitte Greenway will connect six historic neighborhoods from the French Quarter to Mid-City and Bayou St. John. The project includes more than 500 trees, rain gardens, native landscaping, crushed stone walking paths, environmental remediation, curb enhancements,  crosswalks, new recreation fields, a 12-foot-wide asphalt path for bicyclists and pedestrians and a bicycle/pedestrian roundabout connecting the greenway to the Jefferson Davis Parkway and Wisner Bike Trails. Lafitte Greenway will also link with bikeways from the French Quarter and CBD, and existing and future bikeways on North Galvez Street, North Broad Street and North Jefferson Davis Parkway. New Orleans currently has 82 miles of bikeways and will surpass 100 miles before the year is out. By contrast, the city only had five miles of designated bike paths prior to Hurricane Katrina.

Designed by Design Workshop and constructed by Durr Heavy Construction, the project is funded by Disaster Community Development Block Grants and Louisiana Recreational Trails Grants. The Lafitte Greenway is part of the Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan and is expected to be a catalyst for further development in the area, increase drainage capabilities during heavy rainfalls, provide multimodal alternative transportation and serve as a community gathering and recreational space.

Click here for further New Orleans data.

Image courtesy of the city of New Orleans.







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