GCE & CCCLT Launch Redevelopment of Historic 234 Loyola
23 Dec 2013
Green Coast Enterprises (GCE) and the Crescent City Community Land Trust (CCCLT) today announced the official launch for the redevelopment of the historic Pythian Temple building at 234 Loyola Avenue (Loyola at Gravier Street in the New Orleans Central Business District). The first phase of construction is to remove the modern cladding and stabilize the exterior bricks in preparation for putting the building on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Healthy communities are affordable for working families and local businesses,” said Van Temple, Executive Director of CCCLT. “Our partnership with Green Coast Enterprises will restore one of New Orleans’ most storied buildings and provide prime downtown retail and office space for non-profit and for-profit businesses and homes for families in a range of incomes, as we pursue an equitable and sustainable approach to our city’s renewal.”
About the Building
Underneath the deteriorating 1963 façade, 234 Loyola is a beautiful stone and brick 10-story building built in 1909 by Samuel W. Green for the Colored Knights of Pythias. The Colored Knights of Pythias was a late 19th/early 20th Century fraternal order that grew out of a Civil War era organization. Mr. Green was reputed to be the richest African-American in New Orleans, and perhaps in the country. After serving as the Pythian Temple, during WWII, 234 Loyola became a wartime hiring office for Andrew Jackson Higgins, the man who built the Higgins boats that President Eisenhower famously said “won the war.” Higgins hired men and women of all races through a single personnel office, one of the first times this had occurred in the South. In the top floor was a double-height dance hall where soldiers and sailors danced and enjoyed live New Orleans music before shipping out to fight in WWII.
About the Development
GCE and CCCLT, in partnership with Studio WTA and Landis Construction Company, will restore the original grandeur of this 105-year old downtown building to provide two floors for retail, several floors of office space, and over 80 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Stores, offices and residences on the front of the building will have views onto Duncan Plaza and the Tulane University Health Sciences Center. With approximately 11,000 square feet of usable space on each floor, the commercial spaces will be built out to tenants’ specifications. Above the commercial floors will be four or five stories of residences, capped by two-level loft-style apartments in the former dance hall space. Tenants will have a full array of amenities.
Accessibility – The redevelopment of 234 Loyola Avenue will add to this walkable, transit-accessible downtown neighborhood. The site is right on the new Loyola streetcar line, two blocks from the Canal Street line; the Union Passenger Terminal serving Amtrak and inter-city bus routes is just blocks away. Retail tenants will benefit from trolley, auto and foot traffic along Loyola Avenue. 234 is right across the street from the Main Branch of the Public Library, within easy walking distance of health sciences employers and institutions, New Orleans’ city government, and the French Quarter. It is one block from the resurgent Theater District, four blocks from Louis Armstrong Park and the Municipal Auditorium, and a 10-minute walk to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and New Orleans Arena. Apartment renters will enjoy exciting urban living in this highly accessible location.
Affordability – “Downtown New Orleans has become a thriving residential neighborhood, but it is becoming unaffordable for a large portion of the City’s population. Our partnership with Crescent City Community Land Trust allows us to offer a unique asset in the downtown New Orleans market. We are building a mixed-use, mixed income project that offers affordable housing for working people in New Orleans that make too much for subsidized housing, but cannot afford to pay downtown market rents. Many of these people will work in the adjacent biosciences district, including Tulane University and LSU Medical Schools and the VA Hospital,” says GCE Partner Alexander Kelso.
About the Partners:
Green Coast Enterprises – GCE is a New Orleans-based real estate development and services company founded after Hurricane Katrina; William Bradshaw II and Alexander Kelso, Jr., principals. GCE focuses on redevelopment in areas in need of community renewal that are threatened by climate change. GCE develops and manages residential and commercial properties that are optimized for resource efficiency, environmental resiliency, economic benefit, comfort, and aesthetic appeal. Green Coast’s four-building Community Green complex of offices, retail space and a community health center at Washington Avenue and South Broad opened in 2013. See www.broad-more.com for more on the Community Green. Since 2007 GCE has helped develop over $150 million in real estate in the Greater New Orleans region. For more information on GCE, visit http://greencoastenterprises.com
Crescent City Community Land Trust – CCCLT is a community-based non-profit corporation committed to the long-term, sustainable renewal of New Orleans. CCCLT serves as a bridge between philanthropic and public funders to a network of community development partners throughout New Orleans who share its vision for the city’s long-term, sustainable renewal. CCCLT forges alliances, negotiates deals and moves development initiatives to completion. Through the Crescent City Futures Fund, CCCLT seeds community development initiatives, leveraging scarce public monies that bring lasting results to communities and people of New Orleans whose livelihoods depend on strong, sustainable neighborhoods. For more on CCCLT, visit http://ccclt.org