Biz New Orleans – NEW ORLEANS – On Oct. 24, HRI Communities and New Orleans Restoration Properties announced that they have closed financing on their joint venture development of the St. Bernard Circle Apartments located at 1431 St. Bernard Avenue. The developers said they will immediately move forward with construction overseen by Landis Construction Co. The $22 million project will develop a new apartment community on a location identified as an important “development node” by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, the Housing Authority of New Orleans and the City of New Orleans. The site is across the street from the Circle Food Store.
“My administration and partners are aggressively working to ensure all New Orleanians are provided with opportunities for reliable, sustainable and affordable housing,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “The Office of Housing Policy and Community Development is continuing these efforts through a $41 million investment in subsidies that will fund 14 housing construction projects, as well as $32 million from various funding sources that will go toward development gap financing.”
“We are thrilled to immediately begin construction on the St. Bernard Circle Apartments. This long underutilized but notable location is begging for reinvestment, and we have some exciting plans in store that will offer beautiful, new mixed-income housing opportunities, with a priority on resiliency, sustainability and preserving local culture” said HRI Communities President Josh Collen.
HRI’s project overview includes 51 one- and two-bedroom apartments within a four-story, 56,000-square-foot new construction building with 40 long-term affordable apartments offering rents at or below 60% AMI. Of the 40 affordable apartments, 16 will count toward the one-for-one ongoing replacement unit requirement for the HUD Iberville/Treme Choice Neighborhoods Grant. Plans also incorporate two ground floor retail bays totaling 1,800 square feet intended for small, local and minority businesses.
Additional amenities include off-street parking, a fitness center, community room, landscaped outdoor community space, bike parking, and in-unit washers, dryers and dishwashers. The project is designed to be Energy Star-certified and to meet the disaster-resiliency and sustainability criteria of Enterprise Green Communities and Fortified Multifamily Gold standards. There are also plans to highlight community arts and culture through mural opportunities and a neighborhood-appropriate-sized stage in the outdoor community space along N. Robertson St.
“Louisiana Housing Corporation is proud to be a part of a project that will revitalize a once-vacant lot into a prosperous living space that will serve its community,” said LHC Interim Executive Director Marjorianna Willman. “We are elated to see developers and contractors utilizing disaster resiliency techniques that will protect these developments and its residents. St. Bernard Circle Apartments will embody Fortified features that we encourage all builders to consider.”
The financing for the St. Bernard Circle Apartments renovation includes an award of 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Louisiana Housing Corporation and an award of HOME funds from the City of New Orleans Office of Community Development. Additional financial partners include Hudson Housing Capital as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and 45L Tax Credit investor, Capital One N.A. as the construction lender, Hope Federal Credit Union as the permanent lender, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority as the ground lessor and provider of Ford Foundation funding, the Housing Authority of New Orleans as an operating subsidy provider and Finance New Orleans as the issuer of a PILOT property tax abatement.