Warehouse at Jane Place
Small Center collaborated with the Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative (JPNSI) to envision the future of their namesake, foundational warehouse property on Jane Place in the Mid-City neighborhood. Once host to a collaborative model of residential living, JPNSI will use the resulting process and designs to promote the project and raise funds to transform the building into permanently affordable housing.
August 2017–July 2018
Affordable housing is a crisis in New Orleans, with more than 33,000 units needed over the next decade. With a service economy based on low wages, and a strong real estate market pushing ownership out of reach and rental prices sky-high, organizations such as Jane Place are seeking to meet demand through the community land trust model, where land ownership is retained in order to assure permanent affordability while still allowing residents to build equity.
Having collaborated with Jane Place on a prior, 4-unit affordable housing project next door, Small Center was well-positioned to guide the collaborative programming and design process in preparation for fundraising and implementation.
Small Center Engagement
Small Center worked closely with Jane Place staff and board to define the scope of the warehouse redevelopment project, given the building’s unique history and central role in the formation of JPNSI and its mission to create permanently affordable housing. The team also navigated the complex regulatory landscape governing the mid-block property, considered realistic renovation and redevelopment costs, and created a suite of design options to drive the conversation forward. Upon selecting a design suited to JPNSI’s mission, a desire for a mix of housing types with dynamic indoor/outdoor shared facilities, and non-profit office space to provide a permanent home for the Jane Place organization itself, the team created plans and renderings within a graphic document to serve as the basis for project promotion and fundraising.
Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative is a Community Land Trust (CLT) and housing rights organization committed to creating sustainable, democratic, and economically just neighborhoods and communities in New Orleans. For nearly 10 years, JPNSI has worked to increase the range of affordable housing options available to low and moderate income residents and advocating for housing justice across the city.
The collaborative design process included a phased discussion of programming to provide ample time for the final design to respond to the question of audience: what housing unit types are most needed in Mid-City, who will occupy them, and how should neighbors and allies be engaged? The Jane Place board wrestled with these difficult questions in the face of a strong and rapidly changing housing market in New Orleans and in their target neighborhood. When implemented, the project will significantly increase the organization’s current inventory with 9 additional permanently affordable housing units, in addition to providing a home for the organization’s offices and community and arts-centered events.
To learn more about the project, please see the comprehensive project document here.
Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative
- Breonne DeDecker, Program Manager
- Lydia Y. Nichols, Public Program Coordinator
- Atianna Cordova
- Brice White, Co-founder
- David Harms, Treasurer
- Hannah Adams
- Imani Jacqueline Brown
- Julie Tweeter
- Katie Hunter-Lowrey
- Kim Washington
- Maxwell Ciardullo
- Miriam Isabel Barrios, Secretary
- Robert Henig Bell
- Robin Gruenfeld
- Shana M. Griffin, Co-founder and outgoing Board Chair
- Charles Jones (Design Lead)
- Nick Jenisch (Project Manager)
- Sue Mobley (Engagement Advisor)
- Me’osha Solsberry
- Bruna Aoki Gandur Khaled
- Katelin Morgan
- Shoshana Gordon
- Donn Peabody
- Emilie Taylor Welty
- Rashidah Williams