GEISMAR, LA. — A joint venture between Stirling and Level Homes plans to develop Arabella at Dutchtown Townhomes, a build-to-rent (BTR) residential development in Geismar. The companies recently acquired a 7.5-acre parcel for the project, which will comprise 48 three-bedroom single-family townhomes, as well as a leasing office and clubhouse. The design-build team includes architect Architectural Studio and general contractor/homebuilder Level Homes. Stirling will be responsible for development, horizontal land improvements and amenities, in addition to asset management and accounting oversight of the project. BH Management will handle daily onsite management and leasing. Construction will begin on the first townhomes later this month, and the development is expected to be complete by the end of 2024.
Feil Signs Nonprofit Insurance Organization to 20,984 SF Office Lease Renewal in Metairie, Louisiana
METAIRIE, LA. — The Feil Organization has signed Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., a nonprofit residential and commercial real estate insurance organization, to an office lease renewal in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie. The company will continue to occupy its 20,984-square-foot office on the seventh floor of the Galleria office building for another 125 months. Sandra Corrigan of SRSA Commercial Real Estate represented the tenant in the lease negotiations, and Scott Graf of Corporate Realty represented the landlord. Located at 1 Galleria Blvd., the Galleria is a 22-story, 466,110-square-foot office building that offers a fitness center, food service, an ATM, car wash service and onsite security and management.
Cordish Cos. to Acquire, Redevelop Diamond Jacks Casino & Hotel in Bossier City, Louisiana
BOSSIER CITY, LA. — The Cordish Cos. has announced an agreement to acquire Diamond Jacks Casino & Hotel, located in Bossier City in northwest Louisiana. Subject to approval by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, Cordish plans to redevelop the property into a casino resort and entertainment destination. Closed since March 2020, the development will be the first in the state of Louisiana under Cordish’s Live! brand, which offers dining, entertainment, casino, hotel and sports-anchored entertainment spaces. The seller and acquisition price were not disclosed. Cordish was the development partner for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino properties in Hollywood and Tampa, Fla., and its assets include the Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in Hanover, Md.; Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia and Live! Casino Pittsburgh; and the Texas Live! Development within the Arlington Entertainment District in North Texas, where Cordish is currently underway on $1 billion of construction adjacent to the property. Additionally, the company has new developments in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Foundation Gaming & Entertainment LLC will partner with Cordish to complete the project. — Hayden Spiess
Hunt Capital Partners Invests $6.2M in LIHTC Equity for Affordable Housing Redevelopment in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE, LA. — Hunt Capital Partners has provided $6.2 million in LIHTC equity for Government Corridor, a 103-year-old affordable housing redevelopment in Baton Rouge. The project will renovate 34 detached single-family and duplex homes that are reserved for families earning up to 30, 50 and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). Additionally, 30 percent of all homes at Government Corridor will be set aside for special needs households. Originally built in 1920, the campus comprises three clusters that are situated within short distance of the recently overhauled Government Street. Only 15 percent of Government Corridor is occupied, and residents of the occupied units will be relocated until the first phase of the project is complete. The development team for Government Corridor includes general contractor Ethridge Construction; architect Erick Parnell, owner of ArchBoutant; and property manager GHCP Management LLC, an affiliate of nonprofit partner Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GHCP). Rehabilitation work is underway and scheduled for completion in February 2024. Other capital partners include United Bank, the State of Louisiana Division of Administration Office of Community Development and GCHP.
Last-Mile Logistics Firm Signs 30,120 SF Industrial Lease in Gonzales, Louisiana
GONZALES, LA. — J.W. Logistics LLC, a last-mile delivery firm based in Texas, has signed a 30,120-square-foot lease at Pelican Point Commerce Center, a 32-acre industrial park in Gonzales. The tenant will occupy space at 8200 Highway 44, which fronts I-10 adjacent to the Louisiana Regional Airport. The facility features 16-foot clear heights, rear dock doors and surface parking spaces. The Gonzales site marks the third location for J.W. Logistics in Louisiana as the firm has existing locations in Baton Rouge and Shreveport. Kent McCoy of Centric Commercial represented the tenant in the lease negotiations. Todd Pevey represented the landlord, Baltimore-based St. John Properties, on an internal basis. St. John Properties is underway on the buildout of Pelican Point Commerce Center, which will span 265,000 square feet of flex industrial space upon completion. The developer has delivered approximately 100,000 square feet at the park to-date and is currently developing an 83,000-square-foot high-bay warehouse.
Timberline Real Estate Ventures Sells 432-Bed Student Housing Community Near Louisiana Tech University
RUSTON, LA. — Timberline Real Estate Ventures has sold CEV Ruston, a 432-bed community serving students attending Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. Constructed in 2008, the property offers two- and four-bedroom, fully furnished units. Shared amenities include a fitness center, group and private study rooms, a computer center and swimming pool. The community is situated adjacent to campus at 1812 W. Alabama Ave. Scott Clifton, Stewart Hayes, Teddy Leatherman, Kevin Kazlow and Jack Goldberger of JLL represented Timberline in the disposition of the property to Briar Meads Capital. The sales price was not disclosed.
Cronheim Mortgage Secures Financing for Condo Conversion Project in Downtown New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS — Cronheim Mortgage has secured an undisclosed amount of acquisition financing for The California Building in downtown New Orleans. Originally an office building, the property has been converted to Class A multifamily, with units leased as a combination of both multifamily and short-term rentals due to the building’s advantage of holding a hotel license. The sponsor, Servio Capital, plans to convert the building to condos and sell units to both short-term rental investors and owner-occupants. An undisclosed lender provided the loan, which was underwritten at 75 percent loan-to-cost. The California Building is located adjacent to the French Quarter, Superdome and Tulane Medical Center.
Public-Private Partnership Plans New $1.8B Terminal at Port of New Orleans
VIOLET, LA. — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced a public-private partnership between the State of Louisiana, the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) and two global maritime industry leaders to build a $1.8 billion container facility on the Lower Mississippi River. The new Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) will be located in Violet, a tiny municipality of fewer than 6,000 residents approximately 10 miles downriver from New Orleans proper. The new facility will be able to serve vessels of all sizes, dramatically increasing Louisiana’s import and export capacity and stimulating the creation of more than 17,000 new jobs statewide by 2050, Port NOLA estimates. New Jersey-based Ports America, one of North America’s largest marine terminal operators, and Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., through its terminal development and investment arm Terminal Investment Limited (TiL), have committed $800 million toward the project. In addition to the partners’ investment, the construction of the terminal will be supported by a substantial commitment from Port NOLA, as well as state and federal funding sources. The joint venture will operate the terminal once construction is complete. “This public-private partnership with the Port of New Orleans, TiL and Ports America has the potential to become one of …
New Orleans Apartment Market is Performing Well Due to High Barriers to Entry
Increased interest rates and challenging insurance costs would normally stifle a multifamily market. However, an inventory constrained by a lack of land, supply chain issues, labor shortages and the increased cost of homeownership have contributed to a further stabilization of the metro New Orleans multifamily market. The overall vacancy factor for our seven primary submarkets that make up metro New Orleans are in the 5 to 6 percent range. We anticipate occupancy rates to steadily increase going forward as new construction has stalled and rising interest rates have delayed many tenants from transitioning to homeownership. Overall rental rates in the metro average in the $1,250 to $1,350 per month range. The rents represent a 3.5 percent increase over the past 12 months. It should be noted that some submarkets have seen considerably higher increases. The highest rental rates reported in the metro for garden-style communities are in Eastern St. Tammany Parish, where the newest inventory exists. The highest rents in New Orleans are downtown in the CBD/Warehouse District. These communities comprise mid-rise and high-rise developments and command rents exceeding $2.50 per square foot. The downtown market experienced some softness during the COVID-19 pandemic but made a robust recovery once restrictions …
Plenty of Opportunities Exist in New Orleans Retail Sector, Despite the Headwinds
New Orleans has seen significant, pent-up retail growth over the past 12 months as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, however, external forces have provided some headwinds and caused tenants and investors to go back to their corners to reassess. Inflation, rising interest rates, insurance premium increases and elevated construction costs have all contributed to uncertainty in the Greater New Orleans retail landscape. Within the French Quarter and CBD, growing concerns from crime have forced some CEOs to look outside of the city core for their office headquarters. This issue, coupled with the current “work-from-home” environment, causes downtown retailers to rely even more on tourism and convention business. Thankfully, the hospitality sector has had success and is now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Due to an active 2021 hurricane season that saw Hurricane Ida devastate South Louisiana, insurance rates have skyrocketed as carriers continue to leave the state. As a result, landlords have struggled with how to handle these unforeseen spikes in expenses. Should they pass those on to the tenant or eat them to remain competitive, or a combination of the two? 2022 has been a surprisingly quiet storm season, so with any luck these rates should begin to …