A shared love of New Orleans inspired former Tulane University classmates Matt Schwartz and Chris Papamichael to revitalize the deteriorated 29-block Tulane Avenue corridor that runs through the Mid-City neighborhood. While some questioned their choice of Tulane Avenue, where bail bonds stores and seedy restaurants stood in the shadow of the Criminal Courthouse, the duo saw the area’s recovery as vital to the entire city’s economic success post-Hurricane Katrina.
“When we looked at an aerial view of Tulane Avenue, we saw potential for a large volume of development to achieve a wholesale transformation, not just spot development,” says Schwartz, principal of New York-based The Domain Cos. “All the regional thoroughfares connect there, so the transportation infrastructure will be unparalleled.”
With the help of hurricane recovery funds, The Domain Cos. has developed three Class A low-rise apartment communities featuring a mix of affordable and market-rate units and retail. They completed their third and largest building, The Crescent Club, last September, which added 228 units to the existing 255 and a 3,000-square-foot retail space for a total investment of $120 million.
At The Crescent Club, a brick exterior, punched windows, and balcony railings reflect the city’s architectural genre. Domain piled on amenities including two business centers, two fitness centers, two clubhouses, and a pool with an outdoor courtyard.
Next up: The Shops at Crescent Club, a $5 million, 15,000-square-foot retail development across the street from Crescent Club. The retail space is expected to be completed this June but already is 75 percent leased.