New Orleans, LA – The Domain Companies has secured financing for the $40 million Beacon at South Market. The project commenced construction earlier this month and will feature 126 Class-A apartments and 20,000sf of retail space. The Beacon will join The Paramount and The Park as the third addition to the burgeoning South Market District development.
“We are excited to continue our momentum at South Market and throughout Downtown,” said The Domain Cos Principal Matt Schwartz. “The future of Downtown New Orleans is incredibly bright. South Market is attracting tremendous interest from prospective residents and retailers alike. We look forward to watching the area transform into a vibrant community over the coming months.”
The Beacon will feature a masonry and metal panel exterior that draws from the area’s historic warehouse and commercial architecture to create a modern but contextual design. A unique architectural feature will define the center of the building along Girod, as a large 4,350sf landscaped courtyard gradually slopes up from street-level to a second floor courtyard through a series of stepped landings with seating.
“The Beacon draws its inspiration from courtyard housing precedents found in the historic core of New Orleans,” said Steve Dumez, Partner of Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, The Beacon’s architects. “While similar in scale to the courtyard spaces of the French Quarter, the courtyard of The Beacon is unique in the animated manner in which it spills out to the street – inviting residents, neighbors, and visitors to a space of leisure, relaxation, and community exchange.”
The seven-story building will feature six-stories of light-gauge metal frame construction above a one-story concrete podium, allowing for increased density on the site as the district progresses. The first-floor podium will provide for 20-foot retail storefronts and allow for more efficient retail layouts. The building is situated along the two-block strip of Girod where Domain recently completed extensive infrastructure improvements including expanded sidewalks and streetscape enhancements.
“It is exciting to see the continued successful development of the South Market District with the addition of The Beacon,” said Downtown Development District President & CEO Kurt Weigle. “This new Downtown neighborhood is a major milestone for us. It expands Downtown’s already impressive selection of amenities and enhances Downtown’s vibrant street life.”
Capital One Bank provided the primary funding for the project via a $28.4 million construction/permanent loan. The Beacon is Domain’s third development in New Orleans and first development in South Market financed by Capital One.
“This dynamic new development will continue the transformation of the South Market District into a thriving residential and commercial area,” said John Hope, Capital One Bank. “We are pleased to partner with a leading developer such as Domain, as well as the local agencies that share our commitment to revitalizing downtown New Orleans.”
Iberia Bank provided an additional $4.5 million in bridge loan financing for the project. Iberia had provided the initial acquisition financing for the South Market parcels, including The Beacon. The Beacon has also secured a 12-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) arrangement from the New Orleans Industrial Development Board to help facilitate the work.
“Projects like South Market contribute to the overall vibrancy of Downtown New Orleans as a thriving commercial and residential center for the area,” said New Orleans Business Alliance Interim President & CEO Melissa Ehlinger. “Without a thriving economic core, the city and the region suffer. We applaud Doman Companies for their continuing investment in the City of New Orleans.”
Apartment layouts and finishes will position The Beacon at the top of the New Orleans market, with floor plans designed to maximize efficiency and functionality. Amenities will include a concierge and valet service, fully-equipped fitness center with the latest in traditional and CrossFit equipment, a resident lounge with chef’s kitchen and media center, free WiFi throughout the building, and access to South Market’s amenities including bike sharing, car sharing, and electric car charging stations. The Beacon will maximize “green” design and sustainable design features wherever feasible. All South Market properties are pet-friendly and smoke-free.
As with all of Domain’s properties, residents become members of the MyDomain program, which includes a mobile app, automated payment programs, 24-hour service guarantee, exclusive neighborhood discounts, and more.
Pre-leasing for The Beacon’s retail space is being launched as The Park has achieved 100 percent occupancy and The Paramount is over 90 percent leased. The Beacon will represent a departure from The Paramount’s food and beverage focus – residents and visitors can expect a mix of fashion apparel and accessories, home furnishing and décor, and additional services and amenities for downtown. Atlanta-based Terremark Partners is providing retail leasing and consulting services for South Market.
“The progress that we’ve seen in the redevelopment of our city during the last five years is proof that New Orleans has come back stronger than ever before,” said Aimee Quirk, Senior Advisor to Mayor Landrieu for Economic Development. “South Market District presents a unique opportunity for national and local retailers to capitalize on the growing retail market in New Orleans, particularly in the Downtown area. As we anticipate the grand opening of The Paramount and The Park, it is an extreme pleasure to welcome financing for the third phase of the South Market District.”
The Beacon is scheduled for completion in January 2016, and is designed to connect to the South Market District’s fourth building, expected to begin construction in late 2015. Construction on the fifth and final South Market building will commence in late 2016, completing the district by the end of 2017. Upon completion, South Market will include over 700 apartments and 170,000sf of retail space. For more information about The Beacon or the South Market District, visit www.southmarketdistrict.com.