New Orleans Restoration Properties Cuts Ribbon on Affordable Homes in Hollygrove

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – On March 22, local leaders and other supporters joined New Orleans Restoration Properties (NORP), a fourth-generation Black-owned development company, to cut the ribbon at Grove Place on Earhart Boulevard in Hollygrove. NORP celebrated the completion of 32 affordable rental apartments and announced plans for 36 additional affordable housing units on the site.

Attendees included Mayor LaToya Cantrell; Tyra Johnson Brown, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy & Community Development; and Louis Russell, chief of multifamily production at the Louisiana Housing Corporation.

“Today is a testament to the City’s commitment to providing quality, affordable housing for the people of New Orleans,” said Cantrell. “Through public-private partnerships, we can keep delivering real results for our residents, which is why my administration was glad to invest over $4 million dollars to ensure this project became a reality. I’m grateful for all our partners that stepped up to do the necessary work and for not wavering in their commitment to this community. I want to especially acknowledge the Irons family’s legacy in this neighborhood and the power of that legacy. Working stronger together, we will continue to improve our residents’ lives.”

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Previously underused since Katrina, the property, which once housed a Church’s Fried Chicken, is transformed with new rental units and the renovation of several historic homes, said NORP Principal Paul Irons.

“Grove Place allowed us to give back to an area that has given our family so much. The Irons family’s ties to the Hollygrove area run deep, spanning generations,” said Mr. Irons. “We are now eager to expand on this successful housing formula with Phase 2 of Grove Place.”

The Irons family, proprietors of NORP, have deep roots in the Hollygrove neighborhood, spanning four generations. With financial backing from Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), the City of New Orleans, and the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC), NORP has successfully created and preserved critically needed affordable housing in Hollygrove while attracting investment to a community historically underserved by development funding.

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“We’re honored to have played a role in the rehabilitation of Grove Place, which will enhance the lives of residents,” said Charlie Fenton, Executive Director, Chase Community Development Banking. “Preserving and improving the New Orleans community is critical in spurring additional economic development, which will help ensure the community is stable and sustainable for generations to come.”

“Hollygrove is a historic area in New Orleans that has been neglected in new development over time, so helping to fund this project was an achievement for Louisiana Housing Corporation,” said LHC Executive Director Marjorianna Willman. “These new homes will revitalize the area, giving back to its community, and provide support in the affordable housing shortages we are seeing in Louisiana.”

The $17 million Phase 2 housing initiative, in partnership with Enterprise, will add 36 more housing units, comprising both new constructions and historic housing renovations. Phase 2 of Grove Place is a part of the 2022-26 City of New Orleans Consolidated Plan. Both phases of Grove Place will be certified Enterprise Green Communities, ensuring sustainability, improved energy efficiency, and healthier living conditions for residents. Residents and neighbors who seek to improve their financial skills and knowledge will also have access to financial literacy education.

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Enterprise contributed a $6.7 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment to finance the Grove Place Phase 1 property, coupled with up to $750,000 in backup loans to fortify NORP’s balance sheet and facilitate financing. The Grove Place Phase 1 supplementary financing was facilitated through Enterprise’s Equitable Path Forward Standby Guaranty Facility, enabling NORP to execute its inaugural major development as lead developer.

“The completion of Grove Place not only brings new, much-needed high-quality affordable housing to Hollygrove, but it is also an important step in the growth of this family-owned, Black-led business,” said Michelle Whetten, vice president and Gulf Coast market leader, Enterprise. “We look forward to our continued partnership with New Orleans Restoration Properties to bring more affordable homes to this and other communities throughout Louisiana.”

Additional funding for Grove Place was secured through partnerships with Stonehenge Capital, JPMorgan Chase, and Finance New Orleans.

“Finance New Orleans is proud to support the development of Grove Place with public financing,” said Damon Burns, President & CEO, Finance New Orleans. “New Orleans Restoration Properties is dedicated to revitalizing the Hollygrove community as exhibited by their ongoing investment. This project is an example of the type of focused development New Orleans needs from entrepreneurs to realize physical transformation.”

“Grove Place stands as a testament to the power of collaboration,” emphasized Irons.

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