The historic Pythian Building located in New Orleans will be up for sale soon. Dr. Erik George, who bought out his partners, has given notice to tenants that they will shift to month-to-month renewals during the sale of the building. The building, located at the intersection of Loyola Avenue and Gravier Street is 115 years old. The building underwent extensive renovations costing around $46 million in 2018.
The future of the building will be in limbo until it is sold to the new owners. The McEnery Company who is listing the building says that the listing describes the property as a “zoning-advantaged property is uniquely well positioned for a variety of repositioning scenarios, including hotel/STR.” Current residents in the building are surprised at the potential sale of the building.
“I am shocked. Nobody told us about it. But if it happens it happens, I just have to hope for the best,” said Dorotha Smith-Simmons who is a residential tenant.
Dr. George did explain, “As we work with a real estate broker to chart a path forward for the building, we continue to engage with the City and stakeholders to find a way to honor the affordable housing vision for the property.”
In 2018 when the building was renovated, it was a catalyst to building historic buildings in the area back to life. The building is in the perfect location, close to City Hall and on the edge of the Central Business District. The renovation made the building into a modern day retail, food-service, office and apartment units.
The affordable housing was set aside for twenty of the residential units which were one, two, and three bedroom units. The extensive renovations cost a lot of money and the developers, two separate developers, sued each other. Then the pandemic caused the food hall and event space to become a financial burden. The food hall tenant was evicted due to failure to pay over $2.5 million in back rent.
The 125,000 square foot structure is a perfect historical piece of New Orleans and will probably sell pretty quickly. In fact, there are several potential buyers that show interest already.
“It’s plug and play. All it really needs is a new management and rebranding and I think all that can be taken care of in pretty short order,” McEnery explains.