The $10 million Renovation of Historic Canal Street Property is Now Underway

NEW ORLEANS – On Tuesday, Oct. 16, Jason Williams – the New Orleans City Council president, joined forces with Peter Bowen, the general manager Sonder New Orleans; and Aaron Motwani, the CEO of Quarter Holdings; and broke ground to begin construction on the $10 million renovation of a historic building located on 1016 Canal Street.

This is the first of multiple projects led by Sonder and Quarter Holdings, two residential and real estate developers, to revamp blighted properties along Canal Street, as the companies lend themselves to a revitalization of downtown New Orleans.

The Canal Street properties slated for redevelopment by this team will house commercial short-term rentals on the upper floors with a mix of retail and food and beverage establishments on the ground floors.

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Almost three years ago, a six-alarm fire blazed through the historic building, leaving little but its facade intact. Construction has now started to renovate the property, including its 47 apartments on the upper floors that will soon serve as flexible accommodations operated by Sonder.

"The city has struggled to find viable options for the upper floors of Canal Street properties for decades," said Bowen. "We're excited to be part of the solution to a problem that has hampered progress on this historic thoroughfare for so long."

Sonder's master lease helped secure financing for this $10 million renovation project, which is scheduled to be completed in 18 months.        

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Before the fire, a cell phone store, beauty supply shop and fashion store occupied the ground floor while the upper three stories were vacant and used for storage – like many buildings along Canal Street.  

"Canal Street is our grand boulevard that every tourist visits and every local knows. I have been working tirelessly to entice retail partners to open storefronts and consider Canal Street as a viable option for their businesses, but often the vacancy of these upper floors have been a deterrent," said Williams. "Sonder's support of this project and their intended work for other properties on Canal Street and throughout the city are vital to helping us secure quality retail businesses for the area. Canal Street can be poised for an Apple Store, a Crate & Barrel, a Restoration Hardware and the like."

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