HRI Communities, City of Lake Charles Break Ground on Apartments

LAKE CHARLES, La.  – HRI Communities has started construction on the Woodring Apartments, a multifamily residential community in downtown Lake Charles designed with “disaster resiliency features and green space to feature and protect the mature oak trees on site,” said a spokesperson.

Bound by Bilbo, Mill, Hodges and Division Streets, the development will be divided into two phases and is expected to open in summer 2024.

“Suffering through the consecutive landfalls of major Hurricanes Laura and Delta, thousands of Lake Charles residents remain displaced from their homes due to devastating damage across the area,” said HRI Communities President Josh Collen at a June 2 event. “We are thrilled to break ground on this tremendous new development which will offer the most resilient apartment homes possible in a beautiful, amenity rich community that blends in with the surrounding downtown and preserves the mature live oaks on this underutilized block.”

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The first phase of the Woodring Apartments will include a 58-unit multifamily building and a 12-unit townhouse building for 70 total apartments. The unit mix will include 49 affordable/workforce housing units and 21 market-rate units. Amenities will include off-street parking, a community center, fitness center, grilling and picnic area, rain garden and pocket park on the corner of Division and Hodges Streets.

“The Woodring Apartments are a welcome addition to downtown Lake Charles, which plays a vital and unique role in the economic and cultural fabric of our community,” said Mayor Nic Hunter. “Downtown Lake Charles serves as a connector for our city and a hub for commercial, cultural and civic activity. Walkability is a desirable trait for many, so the addition of these new residential units is critical to continued growth in this area.”

HRI Management, an HRI Communities affiliate, will be the long-term property management company for the Woodring Apartments. HRI Management currently manages 60 properties, which include 5,301 units across five states and 10 cities. HRIM has a staff of over 150 employees including specialists in leasing, operations, tax credit compliance, maintenance and resident services.

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HCI Architecture serves as the architect of record for both phases of the Woodring Apartments and has extensive experience in disaster resilient and energy efficient multifamily design. The developer said the design of the community reflects best practices in sustainability as directed by the Enterprise Green Communities criteria with emphasis on disaster resiliency and hardened building techniques under the Institute for Business and Home Safety’s Fortified Gold resiliency objectives. These initiatives aim to mitigate both nuisance and major damages resulting from hurricane force winds and flooding which often displace residents in the worst of post-storm circumstances.

Impetus, a New Orleans-based construction company with operations spanning the southeastern United States, serves as the design-builder leading the project’s construction. The company has been a long-time partner of HRI Properties and has completed many of the company’s high-profile projects across Louisiana.

The financing for the first phase of the Woodring Apartments includes an award of 9% Housing Tax Credits and Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds from the Louisiana Housing Corporation in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Community Development. Additional financial partners for Phase 1 include: Hudson Housing Capital as the housing tax credit and 45L tax credit investor, Capital One N.A. as the construction lender and Boston Capital Finance LLC as the permanent lender.

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In April, the Louisiana Housing Corporation announced an award of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds for the 40-unit, second phase of the Woodring Apartments, which is expected to close on its financing this summer. This funding award allows for the completion of the entire 110-unit residential community with construction of both phases to be occurring simultaneously.

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