Are these apartments or condos?
While we believe that greater home-ownership leads to more active citizenship and stronger neighborhoods, this economy is really tough on us all. Consequently, we will initially lease apartments. As the economy improves and people feel more confident investing in a home, our goal is to sell the lofts as condominiums.
How much will rent be?
Similar to the Rice Mill, Elisio Lofts will offer one, two and three bedroom lofts in artist studio and open floor plans. Rents will range from $1000 - $3500, with the average being $1800 – about $300 less than the Rice Mill average. Like the Rice Mill, this pricing should draw a diverse mix of residents, including teachers, artists, entrepreneurs, those involved in the film industry, doctors, nurses and ... ummm, humorously, no more than one lawyer.
How will this project impact the value/cost of housing in Marigny?
According to the 2010 census, there are 1,881 households in Marigny. But, there is increased demand for these homes with far more folks now drawn to Marigny’s and Bywater’s appealing quality of life. By increasing the supply of quality housing, the 73 new Elisio Lofts will help take price- pressure off of existing apartments. The price of something never went up because the supply increased, and we do not want our neighborhood to change, with people priced out of Marigny like others have been from the French Quarter which offers no new housing.
How many parking spaces will be provided?
There are 74 covered parking spaces provided, as well as additional dedicated parking for scooters and bicycles. The decision to provide this number of parking spaces is based on the following:
(01) The precedent in dense historic neighborhoods is to provide parking with a ratio of 1:1 (spaces: residential units);
(02) It is the recommendation of the proposed Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) to provide one space per residential unit; and
(03) Per the proposed CZO, on-street parking counts toward off-street parking requirements in HMC-2 (Table 22.2). With 539 linear feet of parking on the three bounding street, the street can comfortably accommodate 18 to 20 additional cars. Using this formula, at a minimum, the Project provides 89 parking spaces. (This does not include the available parking on the riverside of Decatur Street or any other available street parking around adjacent properties including the adjacent power plant.)
(04) Our experience at the Rice Mill, where there are 86 parking spaces for 69 lofts is that a 1:1 ratio is more than enough. At 100 percent occupancy in the lofts, there are still 20 surplus parking spaces.
(05) In addition to abundant street parking adjacent to the lofts, visitors to the commercial spaces will also have access to the existing two public parking lots directly across Elysian Fields. The City, as you likely know, also plans to build up to 600 parking spaces over these two lots in the near future.
Why can’t this project be built at 50 feet?
While at this location one could conventionally clear the entire site and build on it a uniform 50-foot box with parking on the ground floor and no preservation of the older middle warehouse, we think it is a bad idea. It would be alien to a neighborhood that completely defies such homogeneity, and it would not reflect best practices in urban design.
Alternatively, it is by far more interesting and speaks directly to the architectural eccentricities in Marigny, if we design three buildings with different shapes. Allow retail to enliven the streetscape not depress it with parking. Use multiple materials, texture and pattern. Soulfully mix old with new. Acknowledge the grand majesty of Elysian Fields with the 74-foot building, on just 1/3 of the land. Create a monumental presence on the wide boulevard, stepping down respectfully and sensitively to lower heights of 22 feet and 48 feet on smaller streets with the two shorter buildings. A trio of three different heights - yet they still average only 48 feet.
If Elisio Lofts is allowed to build at 75 feet high, why won’t some other developer try to build a 100-foot or 150-foot building?
Some have understandably expressed concern that if 75 feet is allowed in this area that others will only seek to build higher. Perfectly reasonable and smart question. But, due to the burdensome cost of the high-rise building code, which is triggered at 75 feet, it is not financially viable to build, for instance, 85 or even 100 feet. One would have to be at 120 feet or some such higher height to pay for these extra costs. It won’t happen.
What materials are being used and why the muted palate?
Elisio Lofts uses materials and technology of today, while reflecting the essential character and spiritual essence of this riverfront edge of Marigny. Mindful of context, culture, climate, history and in a new hopeful time, the building is ethereal, light, white, metal, wood, vertical, and horizontal. Artfully patterned windows, inspired by mixed glass windows on proximate churches, offices and the power plant add transparency and translucency. Flooring throughout the lobby and public spaces made from recycled timbers found here and salvaged from the Rice Mill offers the soulful warmth of a familiar material presented with a twist. Thoughtful shifts in texture, pattern and material all reflect the utterly remarkable array you see throughout Marigny.