CityBusiness reports that developers Green Coast Enterprises and the Crescent City Community Land Trust plan to convert the former Higgins Industries Building at 234 Loyola Ave. into market rate and low-income multifamily apartments with ground level retail.
The development will include 80 one- and two-bedroom market rate and low-income apartments on the upper floors and roughly 22,000 square feet of commercial space across the two bottom floors.
Van Temple, the trust’s executive director, said his company and Green Coast Enterprises acquired the 10-story office tower from developer Lou Talebloo about a year ago for an undisclosed amount.
From the article:
Temple said the building dates back to 1909 and was once the home of the Knights of Pythias, an African-American fraternal order that spawned from a Civil War-era organization. The building also housed a jazz hall, a community theater and offices for companies that Pythian knights operated.
After serving the knights into the late 1930s, the building became the hiring office for boat builder Andrew Higgins, whose famed landing craft helped shuttle Allied troops onto the beaches of Normandy and other World War II battlefields. Higgins maintained the 10th-floor dance hall as a place for soldiers and sailors to gather before being sent off to war.
In the 1950s, building owners covered the original façade of ornate stone and brick with a contemporary steel and glass wall cladding.
Temple said the trust and Green Coast Enterprises are working with Landis Construction on the restoration and interior construction. He said contractors recently started the first phase of construction, which includes removal of the modern cladding and stabilization of exterior bricks. The removal should take about a month.
Wayne Troyer Architects designed the project.
The developers expect to close on a financing package, including all tax credits, by late spring, with construction starting soon after that. They are planning on a mid-2015 opening date.
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