The massive redevelopment of the former Iberville public housing complex is chugging along, with the Housing Authority of New Orleans agreeing Tuesday to pour another $9.2 million into the $600 million project.
That money will help fund the project’s $19 million seventh phase, which will create 56 mostly affordable housing units on and around the former Iberville site at the edge of the French Quarter.
Overall, officials have pledged to provide at least 821 units, the same number of public housing units Iberville provided before most of the complex was demolished in 2013. Many will be provided at reduced rates to public housing residents, while others are being offered up at market rate.
Only 80 of the pledged 821 units are unaccounted for, HANO Executive Director Gregg Fortner said, six years after HANO and City Hall received a $30.5 million transformation grant from the federal government to redevelop the site.
“We have had things in the pipeline to get those last 80,” Fortner said Tuesday. “But the fact that we are just 80 short of 821 is a monumental accomplishment.”
The 741 units Fortner mentioned include 132 homes upon which construction hasn’t started but where it is planned.
Work on Iberville’s seventh phase is expected to be wrapped up by 2019.
The entire project began in earnest in 2011, when HANO received a Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
That money enabled HANO to partner with developers to create what is now known as Bienville Basin, a combination of public housing, voucher housing, housing provided at reduced rates and financed by low-income housing tax credits, and housing provided at market rate.
HRI Properties is the master developer on the project.
The work has encountered some hiccups along the way. Woodward Design + Build, the project’s former general contractor, ran into trouble when it subcontracted some tasks to help it meet HANO requirements that 20 percent of the work go to disadvantaged business enterprises and 5 percent to women-owned companies.
Those subcontractors, however, then passed on the majority of their work to other businesses that weren’t certified as DBEs or women-owned businesses.
Woodward was replaced for the project’s fifth, sixth and seventh phases. Landis Construction Co. has handled those.
For Phase 7, HANO will offer HRI a 55-year loan of $9.2 million, which carries a 1 percent interest rate. That money comes largely from capital funds HANO has budgeted for such work.
The project is also being funded in part by state Community Development Block Grant money and money related to tax credits.
When built, Phase 7 will provide 31 public housing units, 19 homes financed by low-income housing tax credits that will be offered at a reduced rate, and six market-rate homes. One city block will be dedicated to such housing, while another will house an administrative office. Still another will be set aside for green space.
Construction is expected to begin within a week of the Dec. 14 closing of the finance deal, officials said.
Editor's note: This story was changed Dec. 14 to clarify that Woodward Design + Build was never contracted for the last three phases of the project.