Exterior of United Jewelers apartment building.

Beginning the middle of June, you’ll be seeing lots of action at Lee Hardware/United Jewelers, two historic buildings-turned-apartment-residences at the corner of Crockett and Market Streets. Thanks to help from the City of Shreveport (extending a loan repayment), owner HRI will be investing $7.8m in complete rehabs and upgrades to the 109 units there, as well as facade re-freshening.

It comes at an important time for the buildings. These were the first of the large ‘adaptive reuse’ projects in downtown; and HRI was the first company willing to take on the risk of conversion, taking the one-time thriving buildings that had become vacant and turning them into something downtown desperately needed- residential options. The original rehabs happened in 1998, and the properties saw remarkable success with high occupancy rates over the years. All apartments need to be regularly refreshed, and it was past time for these.

Exterior of Lee Hardware apartment building.

Using state and federal historic tax credits and other tools, HRI will repair/replace roofs, exterior facades, HVAC systems, interior unit kitchen and bathroom upgrades, new washer/dryer and dishwashers in each unit and landscaping/pool improvements. There will be new covered parking added, a new fitness center, and a new common lounge area. The properties will continue to be a mix of workforce/market rate units and HRI tells us the current rental rates will not increase with the new look and amenities.

For the time being, new applications for units are not being accepted. Construction work will displace currently tenants, who will be moved into other apartments during rehab, then moved back into their fresh, new units.

More to come…