The St. Bernard Project (SBP) broke ground on its new headquarters, Toulouse Commercial, which will revitalize a blighted property in the heart of New Orleans.
The new 25,000 square foot headquarters will include a construction training lab, which will teach construction skills to at-risk youth and veterans, a warehouse to store supplies and materials for SBP’s rebuilding efforts, and additional commercial rental space. The development was designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.
The new headquarters also will serve as the national hub of its Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lab (DRRL), allowing the organization to more swiftly expand its support to cities that are vulnerable to disasters nationwide. Launching later this year, DRRL will share pre- and post-disaster strategies with homeowners, small- to mid-sized businesses, and municipalities, to help them better prepare for and recover from disasters.
“New Orleans will always be our home. We are building our new headquarters here because we believe in this city and the resilience of our neighbors and we are committed to seeing the Katrina recovery through to its end,” said SBP co-founder and CEO, Zack Rosenburg. “
Funding for the project was provided by Zurich Insurance, New Markets Tax Credits from Goldman Sachs and First NBC bank, and loans from Goldman Sachs, the Louisiana Office of Community Development, and IBERIABANK. Of the total $7.2 million total development costs, Goldman Sachs’s Urban Investment Group (“UIG”) provided $7 million of Federal New Markets Tax Credit allocation and $3.7 million of tax credit equity and debt to develop theProject. The Project also received a $1.8 million bridge loan from IBERIABANK and a $1.5 million permanent loan commitment from the Louisiana Office of Community Development. In a previous transaction, the Project’s site received $0.9 million of tax credit equity from First NBC Bank.
The new headquarters is slated to open in 2016.