$1.75M apartment complex slated for south Kenner

South Kenner could have a new 45-unit apartment complex by the first quarter of 2008, said a New Orleans developer.

Joshua Bruno, president of Downtown Development Group, said he received permitting two days ago to build Riverview Apartments, a roughly $1.75-million project. <!–more–>

The apartments are slated for 1039 Third St., where an assisted- living facility once operated, Bruno said.

Bruno plans to redevelop the site, which contains four buildings: two that comprised the assisted-living facility and two that housed medical services.

Construction began Tuesday with a crew of 30 people, he said.

Phase One, which will consist of 26 units and office and laundry facilities, should be completed by the middle of January. Phase Two, which will involve 19 to 22 units, should be ready about 30 days after that.

Units will start at 600 square feet and rent for about $730 a month. Luxury units of about 1,200 square feet and featuring larger windows overlooking the Mississippi River will rent for about $1,600 a month.

Bruno described the development as a “middle- upper-income apartment building.”

The project will feature lush landscaping valued at around $100,000, he said.

The project will also include a horseshoe court, gated parking, a tetherball court, closed-circuit television surveillance and free high-speed Internet access inside and outside units.

The buildings will also be made more hurricane-resistant, he said.

The number of courtyards will be increased from one to two, he said.

Bruno plans to use Gulf Opportunity Zone incentives to build the project, but he is waiting for approvals. Private project financing will come from First Bank and Trust, he said.

Metrowide Apartments, Bruno’s firm, will manage the complex.

Bruno said he has a vision for South Kenner and plans to acquire more properties for other developments, including mixed-use projects.

“I want this to be the first kickoff of my redevelopment of south Kenner,” he said.

There is demand to live in south Kenner, he said.

“It’s high and dry. It’s very close to the metro area. You’re right next to the airport .. right next to the casino.”

But one challenge with acquiring more Kenner properties is dealing with multiple family members who often own the same site, he said.

Bruno said he bought the 2-acre site about a month ago for $572,500.

He said his goal is to provide “great housing at a reasonable price.”

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