“This neighborhood is still undiscovered, which has kept the prices down, providing amazing opportunities for buyers,” said Bart Gillis, an agent with Keller Williams Realty New Orleans, the listing agent for 6215 Dauphine St. in Holy Cross. “In fact, I’m so high on the neighborhood, I moved here myself.”
Gillis’s listing at windows. 6215 Dauphine Sstreet in Holy Cross looks like an old New Orleans side hall cottage with its 12-foot ceilings, quality millwork and floor-to-ceiling windows.
“But this house was built completely new by the Preservation Resource Center in 2009,” he explained. “They based the design on a historic home that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina – and it’s hard to believe it’s not 100 years old.”
So this is an historic-looking home, but with new wiring, plumbing, floors, walls and ceilings plus the modern conveniences of central air and heat? This house is perfect for today’s home buyer.
A front porch flanked by two floor-to-ceiling windows and covered by a rain-protecting overhang leads into an entry hall painted robin’s egg blue. A generous living room is enhanced by large arches and polished wooden floors which lead into a sparkling new kitchen, filled with all stainless steel appliances, which stay with the house. Two sets of French doors lead to the side gallery.
“The fun thing about this house is that it has three porches,” said Gillis, “and rooms can be opened to them, creating even more space for guests and partying.”
Although the house was built with termite-impervious HardeBoard, the semi-private side gallery has been constructed with boards that give it an old feeling, and it’s easy to imagine a couple of rockers and a small table for coffee out here. The home also has two bedrooms and two baths in 1,331 square feet.
The historic Holy Cross neighborhood sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, just across the Industrial Canal from Bywater, but is still a mere two and a half miles from the French Quarter. It’s close to the amenities of urban downtown, but has more of a pastoral feel – not surprising, since the neighborhood originally was developed as farmland.
Holy Cross has a park-like levee surrounding it on two sides and its rural, close-knit feeling persists to this day. It has a well-run neighborhood association and a weekly farmer’s market, which often includes live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and health screenings.
Thanks to its proximity to the river and its higher ground, the area’s flooding was less significant than most parts of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, yet the neighborhood suffered a significant population loss. However, as the neighborhood association quickly re-organized, the Preservation Resource Center, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other organizations stepped in and have spurred the revitalization of this neighborhood.
Visionaries who see the open land here and want to develop it, artists and writers who need quiet for contemplation and urban farmers have all moved here after the storm. Older houses, or new houses with the detail and historic features buyers desire, have spurred a healthy real estate market, yet prices are still lower than adjacent Faubourg Marigny and Bywater. Gillis points out that this house is a very good buy, citing other homes on the market as comparable.
“There are six homes in Marigny for sale with a median price of $464,900 at an average of $268 a square foot,” he said, “and in Bywater, there are two homes listed at a median of $492,500, which is $214 a square foot. In Holy Cross, there are seven homes listed with a median of $153,000, which is only $102 a square foot.”
Gillis couldn’t be more positive about his community.
“Holy Cross is the last great undiscovered neighborhood in the city,” said Gillis. “If you want historic housing near the river and are willing to go a few extra blocks, historic Holy Cross has so much to offer.”