The Elysian II gets underway in Baton Rouge, targeting downtown workers

    Construction has begun on The Elysian II, a mixed-income apartment complex on Spanish Town Road in Downtown East. New Orleans-based Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, which is developing the project, closed on its financing Jan. 11 and immediately began site work.

    The project is expected to be complete in the spring of 2019.

    The Elysian II, which is costing some $17.9 million to develop, will have 100 one- and two-bedroom units on four floors and will be adjacent to The Elysian, which was also developed by the GCHP and opened in 2015.

    Like The Elysian, The Elysian II will have a mixture of market rate and affordable workforce housing units. But while The Elysian has a majority of affordable units, the majority of units at the new development will be market rate.

    Project manager Vann Joines says the idea behind developing more market-rate units at The Elysian II is to prove the viability of Downtown East, the neighborhood just east of downtown that connects to Mid City. Several projects are underway in the area, suggesting a neighborhood rebirth. This project will be a critical bellwether of the ongoing revitalization efforts, he says.

    “We know from The Elysian that there is a lot of demand for market-rate housing, and no one else in Downtown East is developing market-rate housing,” Joines says. “So we said, let’s see if we can make the case for it because the only way we’re going to be able to holistically redevelop downtown east and Mid City is if you prove that the market will support market-rate multifamily housing.”

    The Elysian II will cater to young professionals who work downtown, Joines says, and it will be the GCHP’s seventh development in Baton Rouge’s Mid City area.

    Financing for the project is coming from several sources including a HUD 221(d)(4) loan, equity investment by Stratford Capital Group driven by Low Income Housing Tax Credits through the Louisiana Housing Corporation, and a grant from the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation. Additionally, the city of Baton Rouge provided $2 million through the federal HOME funding program, and the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority kicked in $800,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds.

    —Stephanie Riegel

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