Josh Bruno, a 33 year old real estate developer and property owner, has announced plans for a 10 story apartment loft building to be constructed in the warehouse district.
Bruno and the Downtown Development Group are proposing a mixed use, luxury apartment building located at 1035 Tchoupitoulas. Granaio (Italian for loft), as it has been named, will feature a two story lounge and restaurant and 18 rental homes.
The redevelopment project will be lead by neighborhood-based architect, Wayne Troyer of Studio WTA, Downtown Development Group and internationally known designer, Philippe Starck for apartment and lobby interiors, and internationally awarded urban landscape designer, Raymond Jungles.
While maintaining the 125 foot height cap for the property, Bruno hopes to lease the air rights for the sidewalk space outside of the property that would enable an extension of the balconies, which is sort of standard, according to Bruno. It would also provide an additional, perpetual tax revenue to the city.
The restaurant space also has a large outdoor seating area over the balcony that would be affected by the air rights. Bruno has been talking to restaurateurs in Miami and New York as well as local restaurant groups, but no deal has been finalized.
Other features of the hurricane-proof building include private parking, doormen, pool, and smart building Crestoron technology to control use of energy, lighting and sound, heating and cooling, flood water management and retention. Granaio’s 360 degree views, and rooftop terrace will be accompanied by green living Bio walls to substantially improve the stormwater retention. There will also be a rotating art installation to assist in joining the Art and Warehouse Districts together.
The budget for Granaio is in the $20 million range and will take around one year to construct. Along with an increased property tax base, this development will produce 75 to 85 construction jobs, and four to five full time property related careers.
Bruno told Canal Street Beat he is not interested in replicating the old, but rather enhancing the property with modern touches because there is a need for that type of property. “This building is designed to add to the neighborhood and provide a level of luxury, level of high end apartments that is not available in the market today but is in high demand,” he explained.
Granaio still needs approval before it can begin construction. Bruno maintains that he is not blocking any neighboring views and just wants to be able to use the rights the company previously purchased. Bruno hopes the city will step up and represent the district properly.
The property has a CBD 9 zoning with an IZD overlay, which allows for Bruno’s current plans and renderings to remain the same. He is simply looking for final approval and neighborhood support.
The company’s goal is to build and redevelop properties that are integral to their neighborhoods and surrounding communities. Bruno and the Downtown Development Group are looking for community members and supporters to sign the petition to redevelop the property into a mixed used development and to allow the green live bio walls with balconies. In keeping with policy, they are “asking [their] neighbors for their support in redeveloping this unused warehouse of our beloved city.” Bruno expects to get a few thousand signatures.
Bruno is the President of Bruno, Inc., Metrowide Apartments and Downtown Development Group. Over the last 12
years, he has made a name for himself throughout the Gulf Coast region with headquarters in New Orleans.
Bruno is responsible for projects such as Century Park in Slidell, the Riverview Apartments in Kenner, the redevelopment of Heritage Business Park in Gretna and Veterans Centro in Metairie, which is now home to a number of businesses and one interesting feature. In an eye-catching, botanical experiment, Bruno has installed a two-story, cactus-studded storefront that improves both the indoor and outdoor atmosphere for customers.
Check out the renderings: