By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
The New Orleans Industrial Development Board is advancing discussions with developer Domain Cos. regarding possible tax abatements for South Market District, the mixed-use project planned near the Loyola Avenue Streetcar line. Domain is requesting a PILOT (or payment in lieu of taxes) of $114,000 a year for 15 years from the city of New Orleans–somewhat higher than taxes paid on undeveloped land, reported The Times-Picayune.
Domain is looking for tax breaks to help start the project because it is moving forward more slowly than expected. South Market District will be a mixed-use, transit-oriented development in New Orleans’ historic downtown, featuring modern architecture and promising sustainable features. The project has increased from the initially announced 450 luxury apartments and 125,000 square feet of retail to 559 units and 178,213 square feet of retail space. It will also include about 1,300 parking spaces.
Developers hope to break ground in August or September on the development’s $69.1 million first phase, which will include 195 apartments, 67,200 square feet of retail space and 435 garage spaces. Domain also hopes for an early summer announcement of the first phase’s retailers. Construction is expected to take 18 months; tacking on another two to four months for retailers to build out their sites, South Market’s first phase will have an anticipated summer 2014 opening.
The first phase of the project will be funded with a $55 million loan secured through Goldman Sachs Bank USA, $8.4 million in owner equity contributions, $4.9 million in equity investments from the federal new markets tax credit program and $806,626 in Louisiana Enterprise Zone rebates. The developers have also applied for further state funding to help cover the costs of widening Girod Street, which runs through the middle of the future development.
Woodward Design Build is the chosen general contractor for the project, which is expected to generate 646 temporary construction jobs. The project will create a further 137 permanent jobs.
Photo courtesy of South Market District’s Facebook Page