October 24, 2023 | From City of New Orleans

City of New Orleans and Partners Break Ground on St. Bernard Circle Apartments Project

St Bernard Circle Apts


NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today announced that HRI Communities and New Orleans Restoration Properties are moving forward with the development of the future St. Bernard Circle Apartments located at 1431 St. Bernard Ave. in the 7th Ward to create more affordable housing units. Construction is set to begin immediately and will be overseen by Landis Construction Co., LLC.

The $22 million project includes the development of an entirely new apartment community on property identified as an important “development node” by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) and the City due to its location across from the historic Circle Food Store. 

"One of the biggest challenges facing our residents and those across the nation is having access to affordable housing,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Throughout the pandemic, and as we continue to deal with its lasting impacts, my administration and partners are aggressively working to ensure all New Orleanians are provided with opportunities for reliable, sustainable and affordable housing. The Office of Housing Policy and Community Development is continuing these efforts through a $41 million investment in City subsidies that will fund 14 housing construction projects, as well as $32 million from various funding sources that will go toward development gap financing. This groundbreaking ceremony represents a major win for the 7th Ward/Treme communities and is a testament to our commitment to revitalize and reenergize our neighborhoods. I am grateful to HRI Communities and New Orleans Restoration Properties for prioritizing this new development and in delivering more stable housing options for our people." 

"I'm truly excited to see the St. Bernard Circle Apartments project come to life in our historic 7th Ward," said District C Councilmember Freddie King III. "This development not only brings much-needed affordable housing to our community but also celebrates our rich culture and history. It's great to witness projects like these that prioritize both the needs and the spirit of New Orleans' residents."

“We are thrilled to immediately begin construction on the St. Bernard Circle Apartments," said HRI Communities President Josh Collen. "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."

This development project 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 percent Area Median Income (AMI). Of the 40 affordable apartments, 16 will count towards meeting the one-for-one ongoing replacement unit requirement for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Iberville/Treme Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant. Plans also incorporate two ground floor retail bays, totaling 1,800 square feet, intended for small, local and minority businesses.

Additional amenities include secure off-street parking, a fitness center, community room, landscaped outdoor community space, bike parking and in-unit washers, dryers and dishwashers. The project is thoughtfully designed to be Energy Star-certified and 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 Street.

“We are proud to embark on this journey of transformation with the St. Bernard Circle Apartments project," said NORA Executive Director Brenda Breaux. "This location, long underutilized yet rich in heritage, beckons for a revival, and we are committed to realizing a vision that not only brings forth beautiful, mixed-income housing opportunities and commercial space for small, local and minority-owned businesses, but also places a paramount focus on resilience, sustainability and the preservation of our vibrant local culture."

“We are delighted to see construction on the St. Bernard Circle Apartments property moving forward," said HANO Executive Director Evette Hester. “As the premier affordable housing partner, HANO is honored to work with HRI, the City of New Orleans and multiple stakeholders to create affordable apartments in this historic area. We know that through our collective efforts and investments, families will have a place to call home, and they will reap the benefits of quality, safe and affordable housing.” 

“Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) is proud to be a part of this 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.” 

“We are excited to be partnering with HRI on this project,” said Managing Member of New Orleans Restoration Project Paul Irons. “As natives of New Orleans, the community engagement this project sought after and facilitated gave us renewed hope that NORA and other partners working on this development share our vision to answer the need for affordable housing with what the people that live in it want to see and experience. We are glad to be a part of the development.” 

The financing for the St. Bernard Circle Apartments renovation includes an award of nine percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the Louisiana Housing Corporation and an award of HOME funds from the Mayor's Office of Housing Policy and Community Development. Additional financial partners include Hudson Housing Capital, LLC as the LIHTC and 45L Tax Credit investor, Capital One, N.A. as the construction lender, Hope Federal Credit Union as the permanent lender, NORA as the ground lessor and provider of Ford Foundation funding, HANO as an operating subsidy provider and Finance New Orleans as the issuer of a PILOT property tax abatement. 

“Capital One is pleased to be part of the financing structure that is bringing St. Bernard Circle to the New Orleans community through our construction loan and low-income housing tax credits equity investment,” said Capital Officer at Capital One Community Finance Dan Miller. “Affordable housing creation and preservation are key to addressing the affordable housing shortage nationwide, and it requires capital, collaboration and community support that ultimately helps unlock and improve residents’ financial and mobility outcomes.” 

“HRI and New Orleans Restoration Properties have reputations for doing excellent work, providing great outcomes for the communities they work in. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with them on this one” said Phil Eide of the Credit Union.   


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