It’s all official after the ribbon is cut, so today the big United Jeweler/Lee Hardware apartments rehab is ‘officially’ official. Representatives from owner HRI Communities and local officials are going to be on hand later today for comments, tours and the ribbon cutting. The nearly $8 million dollar project which began in June of 2021, was both long needed and eagerly awaited.
“HRI was the first large developer to take the risk on repurposing cool old spaces into apartments downtown, and it definitely was a risk,” said Swaine. “People who were quick to tell them that no one was interested in living downtown have been proven wrong multiple times over ensuing years. HRI knew there was a desire to live in historic buildings made new again, and we salute their vision and partnership over the years.”
The work on systems, facade, interior upgrades and more raises the bar, says HRI Communities President Josh Collen. ” The comprehensive upgrades to both the apartments and common areas that we just completed raises the entire property to a first-class standard, ensuring that this mixed-income housing development remains an important asset to downtown Shreveport for years to come.”
90 years ago the Lee Hardware building was constructed (1909), the building launched a new life as 55 loft-style residential units. The United Jewelers Building, built in 1926, followed suit, with 51 apartments. A pool, cabana building, and three townhouses were also constructed. The 1999 development was the first large scale adaptive re-use project in downtown Shreveport.
HRI’s renovations included upgrades to the buildings’ exterior facades, roofs, HVAC systems, interior unit kitchen and bathroom upgrades, and landscaping/pool improvements. Project amenities include covered parking, a new fitness center, a new residents’ lounge, renovated pool deck and cabana, as well as new energy-star appliances such as in-unit washers, dryers and dishwashers. The project offers a combination of affordable, workforce and market rate housing units.
Leasing is underway and interested parties can find more information here.
Original Story Dec. 15, 2021
If you’ve been watching the work at the Lee Hardware Apartments, 719 Edwards, and wondering when you might be able to put in an application, we have news. The management company for HRI tells the DDA they plan to begin accepting applications for Lee Hardware only in early January.
Using state and federal historic tax credits and other equity tools, HRI will repair/replace roofs, paint and repair exterior facades, replace HVAC systems, upgrade kitchens and bathrooms, install new washer/dryer and dishwashers in each unit, and improve landscaping and the pool area. In addition, there will be new covered parking added, as well as 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.
The space and feel of the Lee Hardware building has always been a favorite of ours, and on a couple of tours of the work, we have been impressed with the changes being made. Insulation is being added to decrease noise of other units, and everything is being cleaned, updated and painted. New tenants will be in the unique position of having brand ‘new’ living spaces in a convenient downtown location.
Lee Hardware has a variety of sizes and styles of units but the common thread is tall brick walls, beautiful wood floors and in most of the units, an abundance of natural light.
Original Story/ Rehab Starting at Lee Hardware/United Jewelers- July 7, 2021
The work has started 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.
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.