Local Real Estate Company Buys American Can Apartments

NEW ORLEANS — Key Real Estate Company, based in New Orleans, has purchased the American Can Company apartments from an out-of-state investment group for a price reported to be somewhere above $44 million.

The out-of-state consortium, which included Atlanta-based Audubon Communities Management, purchased the 268-unit building from noted local developer HRI Properties for about $30 million in 2013. HRI, led by Pres Kabacoff, converted the abandoned  335,000-square-foot complex into a residential building that opened its doors in 2001. 

To receive loans, grants and tax credits, HRI committed to reserving 20% of the building’s apartments for below-market-rate use. Audubon converted all units to market rate in 2016. Around that time, several tenants complained about lack of security and deteriorating conditions in the building. The owners said they invested more than $10 million in upkeep and improvements, including an exterior paint job that added gray to the red and white color scheme.

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Key said it will begin an extensive renovation this year.

Still one of the largest residential developments in the New Orleans area, the property rents for about $1.80 per square foot and is 97% occupied. The original can company itself opened for business in 1906 and closed for good after a fire in 1988.

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