once-blighted Warehouse District into a vibrant and thriving residential and commercial area, with museums, art galleries, restaurants and hotels. Today, the Warehouse District, now one of the most desirable areas to live downtown, is primarily residential. Almost all the units have exposed red brick walls, large warehouse windows and enormous, exposed pine beams. The 15- foot ceilings give the units a spacious feel. Arched windows, 6 feet tall look out over the New Orleans skyline, capturing a bit of the industrial area’s grittiness. American Can Factory In 2001, HRI Properties converted another factory — the landmark American Can Factory in Mid City — into upscale residential housing with supporting retail stores. Closed in 1988, the manufacturing We wanted to transform an old factory into a unique place to live, near City Park and near neighborhoods that needed revitalization.“ “ Tom Leonhard | CEO at HRI Properties
plant had been abandoned for nearly two decades. A fire in 1989 destroyed all but the exterior walls of one of its six buildings. The project called for converting the nearly 400,000 square feet of space in the federally designated historic complex into 265 one- two- and three-bedroom loft-style luxury apartments. Taking advantage of the views provided by some 1,200 massive steel windows, the developers designed the units to have at least a window per room. Siting on 7.1 acres, American Can is one mile from the central business district, City Park, and the Fair Grounds Race Course, where the annual jazz and heritage festival is held each spring.
City Park and near neighborhoods that needed revitalization. The project is a testament to the positive impact that adaptive reuse can achieve.” HRI architects carved out the units around existing pillars, incorporating the cement, brick and pine pillars as visual elements in many of the apartments. St. Thomas Reborn as River Garden New Orleans was one of the first cities in the nation to get federally funded housing projects, a relic of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which hoisted big government housing developments on cities like New Orleans starting in 1937. Over 80 years later, “the bricks” — as they are called locally — are mostly gone now, save a few legacy buildings restored by post-Katrina developers. They have been
Tom Leonhard, CEO at HRI Properties, wrote: “We wanted to transform an old factory into a unique place to live, near
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