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Debris lines a walkway between St. Jean Apartment buildings in September. The apartment complex on S. Harrell's Ferry Road was vacated after first-floor units were damaged in the August flood.

ADVOCATE STAFF FIEL PHOTO BY HILARY SCHEINUK

Atlanta-based Audubon Communities, which paid $33.3 million for the St. Jean Apartments, will completely renovate the 624-unit complex and rename it The Reserve at White Oak.

The complex has 66 buildings — mainly two- and three-bedroom apartments — and was built in 1997 on 49 acres near South Harrells Ferry Road and O'Neal Lane.

Audubon said the work at The Reserve will include the complete renovation of the 312 first-floor units damaged by the 2016 flood; upgrades to second-floor units; adding granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in some units; energy-efficient windows and new exterior doors; and the addition of a modern fitness center.

Most of the apartments at The Reserve at White Oak will be leased at market rates, but 60 units will be offered as affordable housing at below-market rates.

"We are proud to be part of Baton Rouge's recovery from last year’s disastrous flood and to provide much-needed housing opportunities to residents there," said Andrew Schwarz, Audubon's founder and chief executive officer. "The property is in a convenient location in a sought-after neighborhood, so we see this as an excellent alternative for those seeking housing in greater Baton Rouge."

Audubon has experience in renovating and reviving apartment complexes. In 2012, Audubon acquired the 220-unit Bella of Baton Rouge property and renovated that complex. The property was also damaged and closed because of the August 2016 flooding. The company began reopening Bella of Baton Rouge in June as flood damage was repaired.

Audubon acquired the 384-unit Tanglewood Apartments in Westwego, which had been shuttered after Hurricane Katrina. The company says the property is now a "thriving community."

Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.