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Abandoned Buildings into Luxury Loft Apartments
Quick Facts

• Redevelopment of 450,000 sq. ft. of industrial and commercial space into 268 apartments and 19,000 sq. ft. of retail space
• Financed through private equity, HUD loans, federal Brownfields grants, and development loans from the City of New Orleans
• Acted as general counsel for development

The redeveloped American Can Apartments represent the conversion of nearly 450,000 square feet of industrial and commercial space into 268 apartments and 19,000 square feet of retail space. Originally constructed between 1906 and 1929, the industrial site had been abandoned for more than a decade. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the six buildings that make up the complex played a pivotal role in New Orleans industrial development in the early Twentieth Century. At one time employing more than 1,500 workers, the complex ran round-the-clock shifts, producing cans for the New Orleans coffee industry.

The $43.5 million revitalization project, featured in the Real Estate section of The New York Times, was financed through a combination of private equity generated by federal historic restoration tax credits, a $5.5 million HUD §108 Loan, a federal Brownfields grant, and economic development loans from the City of New Orleans. The project also utilized $29 million of tax-exempt bonds issued by the Industrial Development Board for the City of New Orleans. Elkins, P.L.C. acted as general counsel for the development, providing real estate acquisition, organizational, tax, and financing advice.


The Orphanage
Quick Facts

• Redeveloped historic orphanage in rapidly growing commercial district into apartment building
• Project was awarded the Terry-Parkerson Award by the New Orleans Garden District Association

The former Protestant Children’s Home of New Orleans, built more than a century ago to house children orphaned by the yellow fever epidemic of 1853, sat vacant for many years and was deteriorating from neglect. This historically significant structure encompasses an entire city block of the burgeoning shopping district along Magazine Street in New Orleans. Elkins, P.L.C. represented the developer, Brian Gibbs Development, L.L.C., in connection with the redevelopment of the project, The Orphanage Apartments. The firm handled the negotiation of the acquisition and financing for the project, which included both debt financing and historic rehabilitation tax credit equity, the donation of a facade servitude to the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, as well as the residential and commercial leasing. Today, The Orphanage Apartments has become the anchor for the 3000 block of Magazine Street and a catalyst spurring further renovation in the neighborhood.

The New Orleans Garden District Association presented the Terry-Parkerson Award to Brian Gibbs Development, L.L.C. Gibbs was cited for his renovation of The Orphanage Apartments and the impact of the renovation on preserving the integrity and history of lower Magazine Street in the Garden District.


Supporting the Arts through Housing Development
  Quick Facts

• Redevelopment of commercial spaces in downtown Shreveport, La. into mixed-use apartment buildings
• Structured multi-tiered financing, drawing from public and private sources
• Project was awarded Louisiana Preservation Alliance Corporate Award

Our firm’s experience in housing is not limited to luxury, urban residential developments, but extends to projects that have brought urban style housing to smaller cities and towns, while simultaneously providing housing to those with special needs.

Elkins, P.L.C. acted as counsel to the developer of the Lee Hardware and United Jeweler buildings in Shreveport, Louisiana. This development was the first of its kind in downtown Shreveport. While comprising a single residential development, the two buildings target different housing needs. The Lee Hardware building offers affordable housing with a preference for artists, featuring artist live/work lofts, a four-story, open-air atrium, gallery for the residents’ use and common work space. The United Jeweler building, in conjunction with new construction on-site, offers market-rate apartment units. The renovation of the Lee Hardware building was the recipient of the Louisiana Preservation Alliance Corporate Award.

Our firm provided a full array of services to the developer, ranging from closing the acquisition of the real property and the structuring of the project financing, to the negotiation of the construction contract. The project’s financing consisted of a complex combination of public and private financing sources, including a first mortgage loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under § 221(d)(4) program, a low interest §108 second mortgage loan from the City of Shreveport, and mezzanine debt. To utilize the historic rehabilitation and low-income housing tax credits generated by the project, Elkins, P.L.C. represented the developer in connection with the multi-million dollar tax credit equity investment by an affiliate of a Fortune 100 company.


Abandoned School Becomes Artist's Dream
Quick Facts  

• Renovated abandoned Hammond, LA high school into apartment buildings catering to the artistic community
• Represented developer in all aspects, from acquisition to multi-tiered financing arrangement

The Hammond Eastside High School in Hammond, Louisiana sat abandoned for over ten years. The former school was renovated into apartments providing low-income housing with a rental preference for those involved in the arts. With its 3,000 square foot former auditorium available for the resident artists to use a working space and for public art exhibitions, the renovated building has brought new residents, arts and creativity to downtown Hammond.

Elkins, P.L.C. provided a full array of services to the developer, ranging from the acquisition of the property to the structuring of the project financing, which utilized both public and private sources of debt, as well as a combination of historic rehabilitation and low-income housing tax credit equity.



Warehouse to Residential Complex
  Quick Facts

• First large-scale conversion of warehouse in New Orleans Historic Warehouse District into residential apartments
• $16 million financing arrangement involved multi-family housing revenue bond issue

Members of the firm were actively involved in the Federal Fibre Mills project, the pioneer of numerous conversions of historic warehouses located in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. The Federal Fibre Mills building, which was originally built in 1905, was a major attraction of the 1984 New Orleans World’s Fair. As the first large-scale conversion of a warehouse in the Historic Warehouse District into residential apartments, members of the firm represented the developer in connection with the national syndication of the limited partnership interests to investors and in connection with the debt financing, which consisted of a $16 million multi-family housing revenue bond issue containing provisions requiring that 20% of the units be set aside for persons with low income. The Federal Fibre Mills was subsequently converted into condominiums, which today enjoy a strong resale market.


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