February 24th, 2012 categories: Buyers Agent
The Lower Garden Districtis what I am calling the area between the Warehouse District and the Garden District. The area between St. Charles Ave and Magazine Street is an area where I am selling more and more condos for a number of reasons. You get more for you money, many are very historic in nature, and people like the neighborhoods. You can walk the Garden District to stroll down Magazine or a 15 block walk to the French Quarter or just take a short cab ride. The Super Dome, New Orleans Arena and Convention center are within a long walk or very short ride.
The majority of the condos have been converted from old homes or apartment homes. In the early years of the conversions the developer would do a little remodeling and turn them into condos. Now we are beginning to see a more upscale developer who is doing a total rehab down to the studs. These are going to be more expensive but they are also more in demand.
The biggest reason that the sales are picking up is that you can get a real New Orleans feel with high ceilings, large windows, porches, balconies, wood floors and the things that people like about the historic home feel. This is the segment that has shown the best strength and will continue to do so. The better the conversion the more in demand they will become.
Coliseum Square Park and the surrounding area is the center of a real “comeback feel” neighborhood. You can walk to St. Charles Ave. to take the Streetcar or walk a couple of blocks to Magazine Street which is undergoing a renewal in the area as well. You can see it in the remodeling, restoration, and type of business that is moving into the area. You also have movie studios and sound stages moving in as you get closer to the Mississippi River.
I have now sold 7-8 condos in this area to people who wanted second homes in other areas and could not find what they wanted so I suggest they look in this area. Several wanted more space as they wanted to live there full time. They found what they needed here as well. This has all happened in the last year and I am only one agent.
These sales have come in a lending environment that has not been kind to new condo developments but the sales are beginning to pick up with a higher degree of cash sales and buyers putting down more cash. This is a good omen for the future. You do have some local lenders that are easy to work with and understand the local real estate business. The supply of units is down but I can see the demand coming back.
I wrote an earlier article on the Garden District Garden District Condos which is doing as well but has very little inventory. Below is one of the many historic homes you find in the area as well. Condo prices are following the housing demand but tend to trail it.