Bywater Art Lofts II is Underway

9 May 2011

After the success of Bywater Art Lofts, HRI and Woodward have teamed up again to bring Bywater Art Lofts II to one of New Orleans hottest neighborhoods.

HRI Launches Bywater Art Lofts II

5 May 2011

HRI Properties has begun construction of Bywater Art Lofts II, consisting of 27 apartments in an existing warehouse and three new construction townhouses, all of which will utilize a leasing preference for artists. The new phase is located across Dauphine Street from the original Bywater Art Lofts that opened in December 2008.

The former Rex Garment Factory warehouse building on the corner of Dauphine and Pauline streets, representing the second phase, is scheduled to welcome its first residents in May 2012.

Bywater Art Lofts II will offer on-site parking, bicycle storage, gallery space, a common studio space and a park/sculpture garden located on a vacant lot across Pauline Street.

“As soon as you walk into the Bywater Art Lofts, you realize the power of having intensely creative people living together under the same roof. We believe that these 30 additional apartments, combined with gallery space and a sculpture garden, will make this development a model that will significantly contribute to Louisiana’s cultural economy,” said Josh Collen, HRI’s Vice President of Development.

“As much as I love living at the Art Lofts for the creature comforts – new appliances, central air and heat, thoughtful and beautiful interior design and renovation – being part of a creative community is an even bigger plus,” said Missy Wilkinson, an artist currently living in the original Bywater Art Lofts. “I’m eager to meet our new neighbors and even more eager to see all the cool art that’s going to come out of this. It’s kind of mind-boggling to imagine even more art coming out of this intersection. It’s going to be like another huge art bomb,” she said.

“The Bywater Neighborhood Association is very pleased that Bywater Art Lofts II is soon to be developed and eagerly anticipates the completion of the project. Bywater Art Lofts I has proven to be a successful model of rehabilitating an existing structure and integrating its new use seamlessly into the neighborhood,” said John Guarnieri, Chair, Board of Directors, and Chris Lorenzen, President of the association.

The total development cost of $11,559,000 was funded in part through the Louisiana State Historic Tax Credit program due to the historic warehouse and its location in the St. Claude Corridor Cultural District.

Other financial partners include: AEGON USA Realty Advisors, LLC; City of New Orleans; Louisiana Office of Community Development; Louisiana Housing Finance Agency; and Stonehenge Capital Company.

The contractor is Woodward Design + Build. HCI Architecture, led by Michael Albracht, provided the original design concept and is the architect of record for the project.

The Bywater Art Lofts II industrial building was originally constructed by the J.H. Rex Rutter Manufacturing Company as an annex to the company’s garment factory facility across Dauphine Street. The date of construction is sometime between the acquisition of the property in 1952 and the first identified documentation of the building in a Army Corps of Engineers aerial photograph of the site in December 1958.

The building is an important reminder of industrial diversity that was present in the Bywater National Register Historic District during the beginning of the 20th Century. The City has undergone a shift in employment patterns since the 1960’s away from a port and manufacturing base to offshore oil and gas exploration and hospitality. Remnants of the once vibrant manufacturing industry in the city are now largely idle. The Rex Garment Factory Annex is a significant building, as it marks a time when the Bywater Historic District was alive with commerce and manufacturing generated by the Port of New Orleans. It is now being reborn as a place where creativity will prosper.

About HRI Properties

Based in New Orleans, HRI Properties (HRI) is a full-service real estate development company and a national leader in the adaptive reuse of historic structures. HRI’s mission is revitalizing cities by creating diverse, vibrant, sustainable communities. Since its founding in 1982, HRI has completed 52 large-scale projects, which total 4,635 apartment and condominium units, 3,487 hotel rooms, and 726,990 square feet of retail and office space with a total development cost of more than $1.4 billion. For more information, go to

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