Nonprofit to Build Apartments for Seniors at Freret and Napoleon

A rendering from Trapolin-Peer Architects shows a preliminary design for the Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments.

NEW ORLEANS – Nonprofit real estate development organization Providence Community Housing has announced that it will redevelop the former Our Lady of Lourdes school campus, located at the corner of a booming Freret Street and Napoleon Avenue. 

The renovation of the school building and gym, along with new construction, will create 62 rental units for seniors. Trapolin-Peer Architects will lead the design.

“Providence will help fill the critical need for affordable housing in this vibrant neighborhood,” said Terri North, Providence president and CEO, in a release. “The property is ideally situated along the Freret Street corridor with access to transportation, groceries, healthcare, and other quality of life amenities suited to seniors. Providence is proud to transform this viable property, that has sat dormant for far too long, into homes designed for seniors and their unique needs.”

The adjacent Spanish Colonial Revival-style church and rectory, designed by Diboll and Owen in 1923, are not part of this project. Both are owned by Landis Construction Co., which is converting the former rectory into office space and is selling the former church building, listed by the McEnery Co.

Providence said it is working with the Finance Authority of New Orleans to secure low income housing tax credits, tax exempt bonds, and a payment in lieu of taxes for the project. It is also seeking help from philanthropists to secure gap funding. The project will use federal and state historic tax credits and a HUD loan.

Providence plans to start construction in the first quarter of 2022 and to be finished in early 2023. Minority and local contracting with local hiring opportunities will be prioritized. Christopher Homes, Inc. will provide property management services once the property is operational. 

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