NEW ORLEANS, LA - Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. (Enterprise), Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation (RNDC) and U.S. Bank today announced the close of tax credit financing for the rehabilitation of the former Lykes Steamship and Centennial Cotton Press buildings into 1770 Tchoupitoulas, a $19 million mixed-used project under construction in the city's Lower Garden District. The revitalization will transform the former office and warehouse site into mixed-income housing, a fresh food commercial kitchen and retail and warehouse space. Once completed, the rehabbed structures will meet both Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and U.S. Green Building Council LEED standards.
"The Tchoupitoulas project benefits greatly from New Markets Tax Credit equity as well as Historic Tax Credit funding," noted Joseph Wesolowski, senior vice president, Structured Finance at Enterprise. "These buildings have stood vacant for 20 years, and through public-private partnerships, a new community of opportunity will be created providing access to permanent jobs, a job training program and affordable housing."
Enterprise provided $10 million of New Markets Tax Credit allocation and RNDC's parent organization Volunteers of America National Services provided $8.5 million of allocation to help make the project financially feasible using the New Markets Tax Credit Program. Financing included more than $7.9 million of New Markets and Historic Tax Credit equity from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community investment subsidiary of U.S. Bank. IBERIABANK provided a $3.2 million term loan and $7.7 million in bridge financing. The balance of project costs was funded by $2.6 million in state historic tax credit proceeds; $3.5 million in HUD disaster Community Development Block Grant funds from the state Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit; $2.5 million from the Project-Based Recovery Opportunity Program; $1 million from the Louisiana Loan Fund in partnership with Enterprise; and various other grants and donations.
Among the redevelopment project's unique features is a 6,200-square-foot commercial kitchen, to be operated by the Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans. "Within five years, the kitchen will serve healthy meals to 2,110 students at eight area schools and 110 low-income clients daily," said James M. LeBlanc, President/CEO Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans. "The kitchen will also provide job training in the culinary arts to 125 low-income individuals annually."
Twenty-seven of the 52 apartments will be affordable to families earning up to 80 percent of area median income. The project will also have 6,400 square feet of retail space and 40,700 square feet of warehouse space.
"We've witnessed the dramatic economic and social impacts that the New Markets Tax Credit Program creates in communities across the country," said Matt Philpott, Director of New Markets, Historic and Renewable Energy Tax Credit Investments, USBCDC. "We are pleased to join with RNDC and Enterprise in the revitalization of 1770 Tchoupitoulas and show our continued support of New Orleans."