Developer Alembic Community Development, in partnership with the Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative (JPNSI) and Crescent City Community Land Trust, have announced that construction has started on 2739 Palmyra Street, a permanently affordable housing development in the Lower Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans.
Alembic, well-known throughout the community for their award-winning work on the Myrtle Banks redevelopment, served as development partner on the project to JPNSI to redevelop the historic 1910-era four-plex at the corner of Jane Place and Palmyra Street, located one block from Broad Street and multiple public transit nodes.
The development will preserve affordable housing options in a community that has seen significant public and private investment — including the University Medical Center complex, Lafitte Greenway, and the ReFresh project, which includes a new Whole Foods and Liberty’s Kitchen café – as well as a rapid rise in rents, with more than 50 percent of households in the area paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent.
“Permanently affordable housing options like 2739 Palmyra will help minimize gentrification and displacement in MidCity as expanded job opportunities attract more people to the area,” Brice White, co-founder, JPNSI said in a prepared statement. “Public and private investment changes communities. Healthy communities accommodate those changes while respecting, nurturing and empowering the fabric of the hardworking population that already exists, ensuring that renewal is equitable and sustainable.”
The Spanish Colonial-style building began as the A.W. Nolde Complete Home Furnisher store and was converted into a multi-family residential building in the 1920s. It has been vacant and deteriorating for several years.
Alembic partnered with JPNSI in early 2013 to bring development expertise and capacity to the project from predevelopment through construction. Financing for the $1.2 million total development cost comes from public, private and philanthropic sources, including the City of New Orleans, Crescent City Community Land Trust, Enterprise Community Partners, and Iberia Bank. In addition, First NBC Bank and Tax Credit Capital are providing federal and state Historical Rehabilitation Tax Credit equity.
Utilizing the community land trust model of land stewardship and shared equity, JPNSI works to increase the range of affordable housing options available to low and moderate income residents by encouraging resident-controlled development and developing shared-equity models of homeownership, cooperative housing, and rental opportunities.