New Orleans Gets a Crop of New Condos

The Big Easy may be known for its stately mansions, but a new breed of developers is testing the market for high-end units with posh amenities.

New Orleans native Susan Brennan ran up against the gap between inventory and demand. She was looking for a three-bedroom condo with high-end appliances and perks like a pool, dog-walk, doorman and fitness center.

Nothing for sale fit the bill, so she decided to build her home herself. She had already developed a couple of small residential projects and built a film-production facility, Second Line Stages, that she opened in 2009. With a bank loan and no other investors she built 42 condos, 425 Notre Dame Street, on land she inherited from her mother.

“The bank asked me where my marketing research [was], and I said ‘Me, right here,’ “ Ms. Brennan said. Units sold for $500 to $750 a square foot, she said, and residents moved in beginning October 2013. By contrast, homes in the French Quarter the city’s most expensive neighborhood typically fetch $400 a square foot, said Katie Witry, of Gardner Realtors.

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This article will also appear in the Friday, December 8, 2017 print issue of The Wall Street Journal in the Mansion section.