NEW ORLEANS (March 22, 2024) – Today, Mayor LaToya Cantrell;  Tyra Johnson Brown, Director, Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy and Community Development; Louis Russell, Chief of Multifamily Production, Louisiana Housing Corporation; and numerous partners and supporters joined New Orleans Restoration Properties (NORP), a fourth-generation Black-owned development company, in cutting the ribbon at Grove Place to celebrate the completion of 32 affordable rental apartments and the announcement of 36 additional affordable homes to come.

"Today is a testament to the City's commitment to providing quality, affordable housing for the people of New Orleans," said Mayor LaToya 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 who 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."

Previously underutilized since Katrina, the Earhart Boulevard 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.

“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.

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 and 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.

About Grove Place

Grove Place features 16 one-bedroom, 11 two-bedroom, and five three-bedroom apartments, reserved for households earning between 20% and 60% of the area median income. Furthermore, three one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments will provide supportive housing services to adults with disabilities through the HUD 811 program, with resident services provided by Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC). Grove Place, boasting amenities such as a community garden, community room, and picnic area, is conveniently located within walking distance of a pharmacy and grocery store, with a bus stop directly across the street. HCI Architecture served as the architect, while CDW Services, a minority-run firm, handled construction. HRI Management, LLC serves as the property management company.

About New Orleans Restoration Properties (NORP)

New Orleans Restoration Properties (NORP), is a fourth generation full service real estate development company that specializes in the restoration of historic properties. NORP was founded by the great-grandchildren of an original developer of the Hollygrove area, one of New Orleans's oldest neighborhoods. NORP’s mission is to contribute to the revitalization of historic neighborhoods by building and restoring high-quality properties and redeveloping neighborhoods by purchasing and renting groups of formerly blighted or underutilized properties and vacant land. Together with community partners, we strategically target neighborhoods where our investments can improve the quality of life for the residents, small businesses and entire neighborhoods.

About Enterprise Community Partners

Enterprise Community Partners is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. The Partners support community development organizations on the ground, aggregate and invest capital for impact, advance housing policy at every level of government, and build and manage communities. Since 1982, Enterprise has invested $64 billion and created 951,000  homes across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging.

About the Louisiana Housing Corporation

The purpose of the Louisiana Housing Corporation is to substantially increase the availability of affordable, accessible, and safe residential housing in Louisiana. The LHC was created in 2011 when the Louisiana Legislature merged the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency with housing programs from other state agencies to streamline how the state would address its housing needs, avoid duplication of efforts, and improve service to the general public. The LHC administers federal and state funds through programs designed to advance the development of energy-efficient and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, drives housing policy for Louisiana, and oversees the state’s Disaster Housing Task Force.