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Soap-N-Suds Laundromat – Press Release

Bruno Inc., headed by New Orleans developer Joshua Bruno, has recently opened a brand new Soap-N-Suds Laundromat located at 1937 St. Ann St. on the first floor of the brand new St. Ann Square Apartments. The Laundromat features brand new high speed washer and dryers, granite floors, cable TV, free wireless internet, vending machines, 24hr CCTV Security Cameras, and is open 7 days a week from 7am – 7pm. Has 24 hour access for registered customers. "We at Bruno Inc. are very proud of this new neighborhood business. We’ve hired local residents to run the Laundromat and hope that it shows other small businesses that the Treme is a viable neighborhood for investment."

1917 St Ann – Press Release

Downtown Development Group, headed by New Orleans developer Joshua Bruno, has completed renovation of another historic building in Treme located at 1917 St. Ann St. This four unit structure features 1 and 2 bedroom apartments that have the unique characteristics of the historic area with the modern amenities that are desired in today’s market. These large units feature 14’ ceilings, heart of pine wood floors, granite countertops, and oak cherry cabinets, central air and heat, and gated off street parking. This building has been updated with all modern plumbing and energy efficient electrical systems and has been engineered to be hurricane resistant. This four-plex is adjacent to the newly opened St. Ann Square Apartments and will share all the modern amenities such as CCTV Security cameras, free wireless internet for tenants, and access to the brand new Soap-N-Suds Laundromat that is located at 1937 St. Ann St. This is the eighth property that DDG has developed in the Treme area in the past three years. "Even during these tough economic times we at Metro Wide Apartments and Downtown Development Group are committed to revitalizing these historic neighborhoods that provide modern housing for working families who have a strong desire to return to their family neighborhoods."

Saint Ann Square Apartments Update

We are past the 80% mark on Construction on our latest development in the up and coming neighbor Treme area on New Orleans.  Saint Ann Square Apartments, which is a 44 unit apartment complex with a planned lush courtyard, off street parking, all stain concrete floors, and even views of the beautiful New Orleans Sky line.  Downtown Development Group is on track and ahead of schedule for the next great redevelopment of this historic and culture rich section of New Orleans.  We will begin pre-leasing in early February and are set to move in on February 15th just in time for Mardi Gras!!!  Situated just a block away from the parade route, renting at Saint Ann Square will be the best way to enjoy the Carnival season!

A new master plan calls for major changes in Kenner’s Rivertown

 

by Mary Sparacello, The Times-Picayune

Monday December 22, 2008, 7:10 AM

Kenner’s historic Rivertown has never become the destination spot envisioned when it was redeveloped in 1982.

Hopes have always been high for Kenner’s historic Rivertown.

The 16-block area of family-friendly museums and shops opened in 1982 under then-mayor and current Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard. His vision was a destination spot for tourists that would generate money for the city, while at the same time reviving a desolated stretch where the city’s founders first set up shop.

In the past 26 years, each succeeding mayor has tried to find a way to bring more visitors to Rivertown.

Louis Congemi, now a parish councilman, developed Heritage Park and built a planetarium during his eight years as mayor. Phil Capitano developed a popular music series in the park. Current Mayor Ed Muniz expanded the series and commissioned a master plan for the area.

Hopes remain high. But Rivertown, in many ways, is no more a magnet for visitors than when it opened.

"We’ve got to come up with a better attraction for Rivertown — better restaurants, better shops, even better museums, " said Kenner Councilman Marc Johnson, whose district includes the area.

Officials and Rivertown supporters remain optimistic that Muniz’s $53,000 master plan could finally provide the seeds for real change — if money can be located to take the ideas from the pages of the study to the historic south Kenner district.

But Ernesto Cortazar won’t be around to see whether the master plan works.

Lured by the potential in Rivertown, the north Kenner resident opened Cortazar’s Delicatessen in June 2007. But by the end of the year, his store will be out of business.

"I stuck it out as long as I could, but I saw no progress, " he said. "They have so much potential in Rivertown, but they don’t exploit it."

With the nation in recession, Muniz said now is not the time to spend the money on improvements recommended in the master plan.

The plan calls for renovations to the current design of Rivertown to make it more attractive for tourists and locals. But all the plan’s ideas come with a price tag.

"Where’s the money going to come from?" Muniz asked, adding that the city’s sales tax figures are down from last year.

Changing the exhibits and adding new ones are an expensive proposition, Congemi said. During his tenure as mayor, Rivertown saw the most traffic when money was spent to improve the attractions.

"But it faded because we couldn’t continue to invest what we needed to invest, " he said, adding that Rivertown is a quality-of-life investment. "There are some things that are just meant for the public to enjoy rather than become money-makers."

Kenner’s yearly subsidy in Rivertown is about a half-million dollars, city officials have said.


Museum makeovers

The city is applying for a number of state grants, including one for the Native American Museum and one for the Music in the Park concert series. Another grant request is for a study to evaluate the museums and seek ways to improve them.

The master plan recommends consolidating the museums onto a side street and converting the properties that now face Williams Boulevard and Rev. Richard Wilson Drive, formerly Third Street, into profitable retail space.

Successful businesses would attract more visitors and increase the museums’ ticket sales, but current store owners say their businesses depend on museum attendance.

"Because they’re not busy, it makes us not busy, " said Betty Brock, who opened Amour de Cafe in a Rivertown strip mall four months ago. "It’s such a beautiful area. It’s so family-oriented. You don’t have to fight with downtown."

Another issue holding back the museums has been the damage many attractions suffered during Hurricane Katrina. The Saints Hall of Fame, which was one of the area’s most popular museums, is in its second year at its new home in the Superdome, and the Space Station has not reopened. The water-damaged stuffed animals from the Wildlife and Fisheries museum are back from a Florida taxidermist, but they aren’t yet on display.

In addition to consolidating the museums, the master plan recommends developing a farmers market and switching city buildings, such as the old Kenner High School a few blocks away, to commercial use.


‘Overlooked’ area

The plan’s recommendations could be the key to the area’s success.

"I’m hopeful that once we put these particular (suggestions) in place, it will spur the foot traffic and will bring people into Rivertown, " Johnson said. "I think it’s our responsibility as city officials to find a way to make Rivertown more successful."

Gail Yeadon, president of the nonprofit Friends of Rivertown, said she hopes to see some movement on the master plan.

"I’d hate to see money wasted on a study, " she said. "I’d like to see progress."

Yeadon said the museums are high-quality and that there have been forward-looking ideas coming out of Rivertown’s leadership, such as turning the old art gallery into a room people can rent for birthday parties.

Not all the news from Rivertown is bleak. New Orleans developer Joshua Bruno this year renovated a 68-unit assisted-living complex into 45 middle- to upper-income apartments a half-mile down the road.

"Rivertown has really been overlooked for so many years, " Bruno said, showing a reporter around the complex at 1039 Rev. Richard Wilson Drive, with some rooms boasting flat-screen televisions and river views. "Hopefully, this will change people’s expectations about Rivertown."

Bruno said he sees buying opportunities in former homesteads that Louis Armstrong International Airport bought as part of a noise buyout.

"We see a great opportunity with some of the vacant airport buyout land, " Bruno said, adding that the land near the river is the highest in Kenner. "We need to build toward higher ground."

Mary Sparacello can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 504.467.1726.

Veterans Centro

Riverview Apartments GRAND OPENING 1039 Third Street. Kenner, LA




New Orleans developer Joshua Bruno of Downtown Development Group is proud to announce the Grand Opening of his newest apartment community, Riverview Apartments located in Kenner’s historic Rivertown. These luxury apartments have wrap around balconies, lush landscaping, enclosed courtyards, gated parking and endless views of the river is the first development that Mr. Bruno has completed as a part of his “Reinvention of Rivertown.”


“Riverview Apartments, the first of several multi-family communities I have planned for South Kenner, has the advantages of great location in a high demand area, high ground and modern lifestyle in a suburban setting.” states Bruno.

Theses Forty-five 1, 2, & 3 bedroom units feature many high end amenities including: large bedrooms, marble and granite countertops, cherry oak cabinets, polished stained concrete flooring, walk in closets, plasma screen TV’s, close circuit TV & 24 hr Fire Security Monitors, FREE High Speed Wireless Internet (Inside/Outside units), elevator access, ADA/Handicapped Units, On-site Office Staff and Laundry Facilities, and much more! Amenities include Basketball, tennis, handball, tether ball and horseshoe courts with a private park overlooking the Mississippi river.

Metro-Wide Apartments, our in-house leasing company, is currently leasing these brand new, never lived-in, apartments. Every Saturday there is an Open House (11am-2pm) at the community located at 1039 Third St. Kenner, LA where potential tenants, accompanied by the property manager, can view the unique homes and experience the natural settings of the riverfront community. No two units are the same, each home has a different combination of floor plans, kitchen cabinets, marble and granite countertops. Come choose your perfect fit today!

 Joshua Bruno’s real estate development philosophy is based on increasing the quality of life on the Gulf Coast by bringing the outside ‘in’ to working or living environments and creating outdoor spaces that provide more opportunity for workers or residents to enjoy lush green spaces. His properties integrate the convenience of city living with the beauty and security of suburban life.
 
Architect for Riverview Apartments is Steven J. Finegan Architects Ltd. of New Orleans who specializes in ergonomic and hurricane resistant architectural design. 

The construction was managed by Joshua Bruno, President of Bruno, Inc which is a vertically integrated company in Acquisition-Design-Development-Construction-Management.  

Leasing for the project is being handled by Metro-Wide Apartments. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

1937 St. Ann Square Apartments Groundbreaking

     Downtown Development Group (DDG), headed by New Orleans developer Joshua Bruno, has begun construction on a new low to moderate income housing facility located at 1937 St. Ann Street in Treme.  The former Rainbow Hotel is being renovated into St. Ann Square Apartments; forty 1, 2, & 3 bedroom units.  The apartment development will feature a gated court yard and off-street parking with lush usable green space.  The units will be constructed with hurricane resistant steel and concrete construction, energy efficient electrical and plumbing systems, and reinforced windows that comply with Dade County, FL hurricane codes.  Other St. Ann Square Apartments amenities include:  wrap-around balconies, central air and heat, outdoor barbeque grills, a digital phone system, free wireless Internet (inside/outside units), and closed circuit TV security surveillance system. Unit sizes start at 600 square feet and will rent for $600 a month.  The three-bedroom units at 1200 square feet will rent for approximately $975 per month.

      DDG is designing and developing the St. Ann Square Apartments and Bruno, Inc., a vertically integrated real estate development company, will do the construction and redevelopment. Metro-Wide Apartments, another Bruno company, will manage and lease the property.   “

St. Ann Square will provide additional affordable housing in the historic Treme area where there was considerable damage from Hurricane Katrina,” states Joshua Bruno.  “Hopefully, this project will contribute to the overall redevelopment of this important area adjacent to the French Quarter.”   This type of development is needed in the metro New Orleans area, Bruno explains, to house residents who have no place to live and are forced to live on the streets.

 

    In addition to the St. Ann Square Apartment units, Metro-Wide Apartments will open Soap-n-Suds Laundromat which features flat screen TV’s, arcade games, and internet connected computers for use while washing clothes.  It will be located on St. Ann Street and N. Prieur.  The company will hire Treme residents to run the laundry and to provide janitorial services for the apartment complex.   Metro-Wide will also start a neighborhood crime watch program in Treme.  “We will continue the partnership we began after the storm with numerous non-profit, housing programs like UNITY, Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New Orleans, along with FEMA, to provide attractive, safe, and affordable home environments,” states Bruno, who has developed six other rental properties in Treme in the last 2 ½ years.

 

    Since 2005, DDG has developed more than 200 residential housing units—from low and moderate income communities, to the middle and upper income 45-unit, Riverview Apartments on the river in South Kenner.  Bruno is planning to develop over 150 additional multi-family, low- to moderate-income and middle- to upper-income units by the beginning of 2009.  One of the keys to the success of Bruno’s real estate developments is designing his projects to add value and services to a larger surrounding community.  In addition, Bruno is one of relatively few private developers who has been willing to invest his own money in areas of the city he believes to be critical to the city’s recovery.

Bruno’s real estate development philosophy is based on increasing the quality of life by creating outdoor spaces that provide opportunities for residents and workers to enjoy ample green spaces and to integrate light and outdoor views into interiors.  His properties combine the convenience of city living with the beauty and security of suburban life.

 

Architect for St. Ann Square Apartments is Steven J. Finegan Architects Ltd. ofNew Orleans who specializes in ergonomic and hurricane resistant architectural design.

The construction will be managed by Bruno, Inc which is a vertically integrated company in Acquisition-Design-Development-Construction-Management.   Leasing for the project is being handled by Joshua Bruno of Metro-Wide Apartments.

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , Office: (504) 309-1849, Fax: (504) 598-9387].

 
 

 
 

Downtown Development Group to Re-Develop Former LSU Medical Office Site into Medical Services Building

    (New Orleans, LA) Downtown Development Group (DDG), headed by New Orleans developer Joshua Bruno, has signed a purchase agreement for the 124,000 square foot, 14-story UNO Technology Enterprises office building at 1600 Canal Street (corner of South Robertson) —formerly leased by LSU Health Sciences—and plans to redevelop it into a Class A, mixed-use medical & technology offices/services center.

     Construction is scheduled to begin in April, with a targeted completion date of August 2008.  The $16 million redevelopment project financed by Joshua Bruno & DDG and is also in negotiations with several private banks for additional funding, will feature lobby floor retail space, office support services, restaurant and bank. Bruno will also apply for a restoration tax abatement certification.

    Building amenities include a back-lit, red onyx lobby with marble floors, roof-top dining cabana, employee lounge, concierge services for offices and employees, and a high tech security entrance system and a 24-hour security officer.  Other building features are:  a digital phone system, wireless Internet, energy efficient electrical and plumbing systems and hurricane resistant windows.

    The 1600 Canal Street building is located next to the new Tulane Medical Center building that was donated by Murphy Oil and across from the new Bio-Medical Research and Lab Building. The site is bounded by the new federally-supported theatre district, the proposed Canal Street Technology corridor, the French Quarter and the Claiborne Avenue area that will be anchored by the country’s largest Home Depot

    “We are the only private Class A medical & technology office/retail center in the heart of the $3+ billion LSU-VA Hospital medical district,” states Bruno. “1600 Canal will be the premier location for private hospitals; pharmaceutical and bio-med companies; high tech firms; and physician, insurance and medical support offices.” “The city and state needs more of these types of industries to move forward and gain a competitive advantage with other cities of our size nation wide. We will be able to provide a building with services, design and amenities that no other class A building in Louisiana offers, at a price that’s comparable to most Class B buildings in the metro area.”

DDG is redeveloping and designing the building and Bruno, Inc. a vertically integrated real estate development company will manage and lease the property.  DDG will partner in the construction of the building with Imburgia Construction of Miami, FL, headed by Louis Imburgia, the former mayor of Miami Shores, FL and co-developer of public and private projects throughout the Miami area.  Steven Finegan & Associtates, will be the architects and Ray Canzinari & Associates will be the electrical engineers on the project.

    DDG has developed more than 200 residential housing units—from low and moderate income communities, to the middle and upper income 45 unit -Riverview Apartments under construction on the river in South Kenner. The company is now concentrating on filling the need for medical and tech office space that will provide numerous high-paying jobs and provide a higher tax basis for the city and state. Which Bruno envisions at eh catalyst to increase demand in the metro area housing market.

    Bruno and DDG and is also the development company that designed and is heading Century Park, a $20.2 million Class A office and retail center in Slidell, adjacent to the planned UNO Technology Center along the I-10 Technology corridor. One of the keys to Bruno’s successful real estate developments is that he tends to design his projects to add value and services to a larger surrounding development. In addition, his entrapneurial back ground and drive has shown he usually one of the first private developers that not hesitant to invest his own money in areas of the city he believes to be the imperative in the city’s recovery.
 

Pre-Leasing Under Way at $20.2M Century Park Class A, Office/Retail Complex in Slidell

(New Orleans, LA) New Orleans developer Joshua Bruno of Downtown Development Group and OceanView Development Group of  New Orleans and California, are pre-leasing space in the new $20.2M Century Park Class A, Office and Retail Park located on 2.4 acres along the I-10 service road and Fremeaux Interchange—adjacent to the planned 400-acre UNO Research and Technology Park. 

    The 62,000 square foot complex will feature two office buildings—one two-story and the other four-story—and a one-story retail center. The project will be completed in three phases, with construction of Phase 1, the 12,000 square foot two-story office/retail building, planned to begin this summer with a target completion date of winter 2008.   The one-story 14,000 square foot retail center, featuring restaurants, retail, banking  and other service providers, will be constructed as Phase 2, followed by Phase 3, the four-story, 36,000 square foot office building.

    “Century Park features an environmentally-friendly and hurricane resistant design that emphasizes usable green spaces and natural light,” states Bruno. “With landscaped, lush green common spaces and parking, a view of lake Pontchartrain from the buildings, and a half-acre lakefront park, Century Park creates a peaceful and productive working environment.”

    The business park is easily accessible to the Twin Spans Bridge and the I-10 and I-12 business corridors that run west to Baton Rouge and east to Mississippi.   The actual site is located on high ground, 10-12 feet above sea level.  Century Park will be highly visible and is positioned to front onto Interstate 10.

    The office buildings and retail center at Century Park will be constructed with the advanced M-2 building system—combining state-of-the-art green technology and superior grade building materials that will become the future standard for the construction industry.

     Walls and flooring materials in the office and retail buildings will include corrugated polystyrene, high tensile electro welded steel and concrete to make the Century Park buildings resistant to damage from hurricanes, floods, fire mold and termite damage.  Wrap around ‘EZ On’ window panels that are hurricane rated are utilized in the design to maximize the natural light in office spaces.  The buildings are certified ‘Leed’ green construction.

    “Owners and tenants can expect significant savings in lower heating and air conditioning, water and even insurance costs since our energy efficient, advanced building materials are considered less of an underwriting risk,” states Bruno.

    Other amenities featured at Century Park are:  high speed wireless Internet access inside/out, a high tech 24-hour security entrance system, atrium lobbies and flexible, custom build outs.  Tenant units in the Phase 1 office building can be configured in sizes from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet and combined vertically, if desirable, with a staircase connecting two floors.

    Architect for Century Park is Steven J. Finegan Architects Ltd. of New Orleans who specialize in ergonomic and hurricane resistant architectural design.  The construction will be managed by Bruno, Inc which is a vertically integrated company in Acquisition-Design-Development-Construction-Management.   Leasing for the project is being handled by Joshua Bruno ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

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Joshua Bruno and his company, Downtown Development Group (DDG), has developed more than 200 residential housing units in metro New Orleans—from low and moderate income communities, to the middle and upper income 45-unit, Riverview Apartments under construction on the river in South Kenner.  He is also currently redeveloping the 1600 Canal Street office building in the New Orleans Medical District into the $16M Canal Medical and Technology Center.

 


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