Project featured in New Orleans CityBusiness, November 2022
Poydras Home is undergoing a $19 million expansion and renovation of its Uptown campus.
The long-term care facility is adding two three-story buildings linked by a glass atrium, which will serve as an entryway for six separate homes, one on each floor, according to its website. Each home will have a cluster of private bedrooms and bathrooms, with shared common spaces including a kitchen, living room, dining room, porches and balconies.
The 68,000-square-foot space will house 78 resident rooms for varying levels of senior care, according to DonahueFavret Contractors, Inc., the Mandeville-based firm handing the project. It also is restoring Historic House, a one-story, timber-framed building built in the 1850s that will house amenities shared by all of the community’s residents, such a therapy gym, yoga studio, library, meditative space, expanded salon and spa and a multipurpose space for programming and education.
Founded in 1817 for female children of widows left destitute by the city’s yellow fever outbreaks, Poydras Home was initially located at St. Charles Avenue and Julia Street, according to its website. Overcrowding led the organization to move to its current 3.5-acre site at Magazine Street and Jefferson Avenue in 1857. More than a century later, it evolved from serving children to providing senior care.
Poydras Home has expanded and upgraded its campus over the years. In 2013, it renovated Historic House to add dining space and a wellness and therapy center.
The current project, designed by New Orleans-based architecture EskewDumezRipple, began in June 2021 and is expected to be fully completed in June 2023.
Some of its challenges have stemmed from the site’s tight location in the middle of neighborhood and adjacent to tennis courts, said Patrick Descant, DonahueFavret partner and vice president of preconstruction services. Parking and fluctuating levels in the nearby Mississippi River have posed issues. The biggest, he said, has been sluggish delivery of equipment and materials due to a pandemic backlog of freight, trucking and manpower.
The completed project will reflect a newer trend of senior care that has a more residential aesthetic, with small group family-style homes rather than long hallways and an institutional feel, according to the contractors and the website.
The website says the “Green House Project” model being used by Poydras Home allows for a smaller number of residents living within each home, which has resulted in less COVID-19 exposure and infection in other facilities that use it. The community was one of the first in the New Orleans area that experienced a cluster of outbreaks in March 2020.