A local developer with other holdings in the New Orleans area is adding more housing stock by the end of the year to a burgeoning part of downtown.

Orleans Shoring owner Christian Cancienne is in the midst of converting the former Howard & Baronne Storage Center at 846 Baronne St. into 50 apartments with space for three ground-floor commercial tenants. The future mixed-use development is bounded by St. Joseph, Carondelet, Baronne and Julia Streets and is two blocks from the South Market District, a mixed-use neighborhood comprised of apartments, retail and restaurants.

Cancienne would not reveal the total cost of the project but said the financing structure includes federal and state Historic Tax Credits and a loan through an undisclosed bank. A building permit filed with the city lists the construction value at $34 million.

Cancienne said he would add a fifth floor to the four-story building to accommodate more apartments. There will also be 96 off-street parking spaces for both residents and the public.

The development will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three bedroom apartments. Cancienne said rents would be of the market-rate variety and range from $700 to $3,000 per month. Units would offer 1,056 to 1,515 square feet of space, according to plans filed with the city.

The total development will be approximately 110,000 square feet, and Cancienne expects to finish construction next February. Terrell Fabacher Architects is listed as the design team, and Orleans Shoring is the general contractor.

“This project is going to be special,” Cancienne said. “This is at the fringe of downtown, and I believe the way this part of the city is growing, this is going to grow right in with it.”

Land records show an entity known as 846 Baronne St. Redevelopment LLC, managed by Cancienne, acquired the roughly 25,000-square-foot parcel for $9.5 million in 2016.

Cancienne recently wrapped up a mixed-use development at 220 Decatur St. in the French Quarter that offers six condos with ground-floor commercial space for a yet-to-be-named tenant. He completed the first phase of the project in 2011 at 214 Decatur St. that has 16 condos with retail tenants Diva Dolls vintage clothing store and City Segway Tours.

Cancienne said the total cost of the two phases of that project was $12.6 million. He said the design team put different finishes in each unit and uses these condos as a “living test lab.”

“I wanted to see what worked and what didn’t before building the 50 apartments (at 846 Baronne St.),” he said.

Cancienne opened The Refinery at 701 South Peters St. in the Warehouse District last year. The development houses 29 apartments and seven penthouse condo units with ground-floor commercial space.

He has completed similar complexes in the French Quarter and the Central Business District.

Source: City Business