Greg Morris, the young developer responsible for the Bywater development that houses Booty’s Street Food, is at it again with his next project: the redevelopment of a 146-year-old, three-story synagogue at 709 Jackson Avenue into luxury apartments. The 11,000 square-foot building is about half way through the $1.3MM project.
The synagogue is the oldest still standing in the city.
The synagogue was finished in 1867, but construction goes back to before the Civil War. The congregation purchased the lot in 1859. When war broke out, the bricks and building materials were hidden to keep them from being confiscated. The cornerstone for the building was laid in 1865 and the synagogue was dedicated in 1867. The congregation remained in the building until 1920, when it moved to a new building on Napoleon Avenue.
In the 1970s, Shaare Tefilah, which translated from Hebrew means “Gates of Prayer,” followed its members to Metairie and constructed its current synagogue on West Esplanade Avenue.
The apartment units will range in size from 650 to 1,700 square feet, and the complex will include off-street parking. Rents will average out to about $2 per square-foot. Morris is using state and federal historic tax credits to help finance the development.