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Posted: Friday, 03 January 2014 5:57AM

New Orleans area continues to see high apartment demand

The New Orleans area continues to see a high demand for apartment housing.

And, there doesn't seem to be a slowdown any time in the near future.

Local real estate consultant Wade Ragas says desirable vacancies in the New Orleans apartment market can be hard to find.

"The apartment market is quite strong," says Ragas. "It's, generally, at 95 percent or so occupancy. And it's particularly strong in and near downtown New Orleans."

He says the demand stretches into the suburbs, but it's the downtown area...the Warehouse District, Mid-City and the St. Charles Avenue corridor that are most in demand.

"The CBD and the area immediately around downtown New Orleans is the strongest multi-family market, and that spreads over into the French Quarter, as well."

The abundance of development throughout New Orleans, especially the new residential concentration downtown, is calling attention to the availability of parking.

Ragas says many of the new properties in New Orleans are building parking. But developers in and around the city are dealing with land shortages and high land costs.

"So, many of these are working on the premise that many of the occupants will be using public transportation, rather than having to have two cars."

For those who may want to keep the two cars and live in the suburbs, Ragas says the surrounding area is developing, as well.

"We have our first, new luxury apartment complex going in Jefferson Parish, in River Ridge, being built by 1st Lake."

Ragas says the $37 million Bella Ridge apartment complex is one of the largest multi-family projects on the East Bank in the past decade.

The eight-building development in Elmwood Industrial Park is located at 101 Dickory Ave.

At least four downtown New Orleans projects are under construction or are expected to move forward in the next six months.

They include the redevelopment of the triangular office tower on Howard Avenue at Baronne Street into residential units.

Other than the ground-floor restaurant, the seven-story Howard Triangle Building had been vacant and on the market for several years.

Plans call for the offices on floors two through seven to be converted into about 18 luxury one- and two-bedroom market rate apartments. The ground-floor restaurant space will remain as is.

"Those are all very encouraging signs for a strong recovery in the multi-family marketplace," says Ragas.

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Locations : Jefferson ParishMid-cityNew Orleans
People : Wade Ragas
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