Louisiana Recovery Authority CLOSEPRINT
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2009
Contact: Christina Stephens, christina.stephens@la.gov

State of Louisiana Funds $68 Million Historic Redevelopment for Workforce Housing at 200 Carondelet in New Orleans

BATON ROUGE, La. - Representatives from the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the Office of Community Development and the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency joined investors, lawmakers and city officials at today's grand opening of a new multi-family rental housing development in downtown New Orleans, representing a combined public and private investment of $68 million.

The 24-story skyscraper is a historic rehabilitation of the former National American Bank building, which was erected in 1929 and was the first public space in New Orleans equipped with indoor air-conditioning.

The development at 200 Carondelet used $26.5 million in Community Development Block Grants from a pool of federal disaster recovery funds administered by the Office of Community Development. These funds were "piggybacked" onto $20.5 million in equity generated through the syndication of GO Zone Housing Tax Credits administered by the LHFA. The development also used equity produced by the sale of federal and state Historic Tax Credits, as well as traditional financing from Sun America Affordable Housing Partners.

Paul Rainwater, LRA and OCD executive director said, "We lost more than 82,000 units, or 47 percent of the rental housing in the state, to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In New Orleans alone, more than 44,000 rental units were damaged or destroyed. The renovation of this historic landmark in the central business district will help restore critically needed rental stock to a valued workforce that drives our rebuilding efforts. Our recovery needs workers and workers need affordable housing."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said, "This redevelopment is a win-win opportunity for our city. It is a thoughtful renovation of a historic structure located in a section of town that is vital to the growth of New Orleans because of its proximity to the hospitality industry, the central business district and the proposed medical complex."

Reliance Housing Foundation President Robert O. Jackson said, "Reliance and our partner EDI are honored to be part of the effort to rebuild, restore and recover in New Orleans. Our historic preservation and adaptive reuse of this National Historic Landmark utilized Smart Growth principles, sustainable building practices and "Green Communities" criteria to provide 189 contemporary rental apartments within walking distance of the major CBD employers. Market response to the building has been very positive, with more than 80 residents moving into the building within the first 60 days of availability."

Sixty percent of the 189 units at 200 Carondelet will be available as market-rate rentals, with the remaining 40 percent reserved for affordable workforce housing. The location in downtown New Orleans is near jobs and public transportation, making it ideal for workers in the hospitality, office and medical industries. Essential service providers such as teachers, police and firefighters also will be targeted by the developer.

Through a competitive process, Louisiana has made awards to a total of 57 Piggyback projects in areas of the state most impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, amounting to more than $580 million in CDBG gap financing. The first six developments are scheduled to come online this month and will provide 850 mixed-income rental units.

In total, the Piggyback program will create 8,185 rental units to help replace housing stock lost in the storms. Nearly 7,000 units, or more than 80 percent, will be built in the New Orleans metro area. A total of 1,800 units are anticipated to come online by June, with an anticipated total of 3,200 units online by Dec. 31.

Created in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.

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