New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) September 06, 2012
When New Orleans based KFK Group first started their redevelopment plans for the former Krauss Department Store, it was ahead of the curve for the city’s downtown development plans. Just months before Katrina hit, KFK’s 1201 Canal Condominiums made headlines with plans to transform the century-old former Krauss Department Store into 223 high-end condos.
The upscale 1201 Canal Condominiums project made waves as a harbinger of gentrification. Nobody involved in the project anticipated the devastating effect that Hurricane Katrina would have on the economic development in the Big Easy. KFK closed title on the property the week before the storm hit and had construction scheduled to begin on the following Tuesday. Katrina and the federal Gulf Opportunity Zone Act bonds that came in its wake sparked the announcement of a number of high-end downtown residential projects.
Since the end of 2008, just two of 13 residential projects proposed for the Central Business District since Hurricane Katrina come to fruition. Four years later, KFK’s project is the only one that is done, and more than 85 percent of the condos have sold for between $200,000 and $1.5 million for a penthouse overlooking the French Quarter.
KFK gave partial credit for 1201 Canal’s success to the national recession and tight financing market. It is difficult to get things off the ground in today’s financial conditions and as a result, they aren’t really competing with any other units. Other luxury developments were planned for the downtown area including The Tracage and Trump Tower. Both of these projects have fallen by the wayside, leaving 1201 Canal as the first and only luxury condominium to be developed in the Central Business District in the wake of Katrina.
The KFK Group has pioneered residential development along Canal Street with the completion of 1201 Canal Condominiums, a $70 million, 233 unit luxury project that is serving as a catalyst for the future downtown development and continued transformation of Canal Street.