Developer Breaks Ground on 32-Unit Apartment Complex in Hollygrove

Thumbnail Grove Rendering Copy
Renderings provided by NORP

NEW ORLEANS – On July 19, New Orleans Restoration Properties (NORP) broke ground on 32 affordable rental apartments that will span a city block on Earhart Boulevard in Hollygrove. Dubbed Grove Place, the project is expected to cost approximately $14.3 million and be completed by the summer of 2023. The site, which has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina, retains several historic residential structures that will be renovated.

NORP executives were joined at the groundbreaking event by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, City Councilman Joseph Giarrusso, representatives of the Hollygrove Neighborhood Association, and other partners and supporters.

With financing from Enterprise Community Partners, the City of New Orleans and the Louisiana Housing Corporation, NORP plans to “create and preserve critically needed affordable housing in Hollygrove and bring investment to a community that has historically seen minimal funding for new development,” according a spokesperson.

“This project allows us to give back to an area that gave us so much,” said Paul Irons, the company’s principal, in a press release. His family has lived in the neighborhood for generations. “My sister and partner, Marseah, and I have fond memories of growing up here and we are determined to help Hollygrove grow and revitalize.”

Thumbnail Grove Pl Renderings Leonidas DoublesThe new Grove Place community will include 16 one-bedroom, 11 two-bedroom and five three-bedroom apartments. The homes will be reserved for households earning between 20% and 60% of the area median income. Three additional one-bedroom apartments and eight additional two-bedroom apartments will provide supportive housing services to adults with disabilities through the HUD 811 program. LHC will provide resident services for these apartments.

Grove Place will be within walking distance of a pharmacy and grocery store and across the street from a bus stop. Its amenities will include a community garden, community room and picnic area. HCI Architecture is the architect and CDW Services, a minority-run firm, is the builder. HRI Management will serve as the property management company.

Enterprise said it is supporting NORP’s work to preserve affordability in this historic neighborhood through a national initiative called Equitable Path Forward, a five-year, $3.5 billion plan to “invest in developers of color and help dismantle the legacy of racism in housing.” The national affordable housing nonprofit is providing a $6.7 million low-income housing tax credit investment to help finance the property and making available up to $750,000 in backup loans to strengthen NORP’s balance sheet and help it qualify for financing.

The backup financing comes through Enterprise’s Standby Guaranty Facility. A NORP spokesperson said this will allow the company to complete its first major development as lead developer. Additional funding for the project comes from Stonehenge Capital, JPMorgan Chase and Finance New Orleans. 

“Paul Irons and Marseah Delatte are leading a family business that has worked in New Orleans real estate for generations — but traditional underwriting standards often fail to recognize the expertise and experience they bring to the table,” said Michelle Whetten, vice president and Gulf Coast market leader at Enterprise. “Through Equitable Path Forward, we can lift up neighborhood anchors like NORP and create affordable homes that respond directly to community needs at the same time.”

“The City of New Orleans is committed to providing more affordable, quality housing within the city, which is why we’ve put up $4.8 million to make this latest deal happen,” said Cantrell. “I want to thank all of our partners for making this a possibility, and for not wavering in their commitment to this community. I know the Irons family is a legacy in this neighborhood, and I recognize the strength and the power of legacy here.”

New Orleans Restoration Properties is a fourth generation full service real estate development company that specializes in the restoration of historic properties. Enterprise is a national nonprofit that “supports community development organizations on the ground.” The Louisiana Housing Corporation works to “substantially increase the availability of affordable, accessible, and safe residential housing in Louisiana.”

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