South Market District developers push ahead with hotel, more retail and apartments

The Times-Picayune – Developers of the downtown South Market District have begun interior demolition of a nine-story office building on Carondelet Street for renovation into a hotel. They hope to begin construction later this year.

Meanwhile, plans for a seven-story apartment-retail building at South Rampart and Girod streets, called The Beacon, were submitted to the city for a building permit this month. Construction is expected to begin on The Beacon, estimated at $35 million, later this summer.

The Domain Cos., based in New Orleans and New York City, are aiming to transform four blocks off Loyola Avenue downtown into a mixed-used development of shops, restaurants and more than 600 apartments near a streetcar hub in a proposed $200 million project.

Two buildingsĀ  — The Paramount, a $48.4 million retail-apartment building, and The Park, a $21.3 million retail-parking building — are already under construction in the area around the downtown Rouses Market.

At a groundbreaking ceremony in September, Domain announced plans for the hotel at 600 Carondelet Street. Domain bought the 136,000-square-foot, nine-story office building for $5.5 million.

The interior demolition to prepare the building for renovation will cost more than $530,000, according to city records.

Megan McNeill, a Domain spokeswoman, said renovations will begin later this year and be finished by the end of next year. She said more details — such as a hotel brand, number of rooms and project cost — will be released this fall or winter.

Domain intends to close financing on The Beacon in September, she said. At that point, retail tenants and artist renderings’ of the building will be released, she said. The Beacon’s design calls for 126 apartments and 20,000 square feet of retail space.

In January, Domain said national furniture company Arhaus will be its first anchor tenant.

The Domain Cos. was founded in New York by two Tulane University graduates, Matt Schwartz and Chris Papamichael. Their other local projects include the Preserve and the Crescent Club, both mixed-income developments on Tulane Avenue.

By: Katherine Sayre