Saltz Building on Main Street to become latest multifamily development downtown

The historic Saltz Building at 442 Main St. across from St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Baton Rouge will be redeveloped into a six-unit, multifamily complex beginning in the first quarter of the new year.

Developers Helena and Kevin Cunningham, who bought the 5,015-square-foot building several years ago, recently received approval for historic building tax credits—the green light they needed to move forward with the $1 million redevelopment project.

The red brick building was built in 1924, which is prominently noted on its façade. It is currently vacant and gutted.

Unlike the adjacent mixed-income apartment complex at 438 Main, which the Cunninghams also own and developed in 2013, The Saltz Building will be market rate and lease rates will average between $1,085 and $1,200 per month. The first floor will contain two two-bedroom units, while the second floor will have four one-bedroom units.

The Cunninghams have long planned to redevelop The Salz Building, which they acquired at the same time they bought 438 Main. That project has done so well they were convinced of the need for more downtown housing.

“We have turnover, but we fill up exceedingly quickly,” Helena Cunningham says. “We typically have a waiting list for our market rate units. That’s why we decided to make this one all market rate.”

Besides tax credits, the Cunninghams will use conventional financing to finance the project. Construction is slated to begin in early 2016 and is expected to take about 12 months.

—Stephanie Riegel

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