The Belle Rive doesn't have a ground-breaking date becausepresales need to be 70% before work can begin, according to LouisLauricella, development director of Lauricella Land Co. LLC in NewOrleans. The condos will neighbor the country club at 42 ColonialClub Dr.

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Lauricella isn't disclosing the project cost, but says condoswill cost an average of $400 per sf. The mix will be one-, two- andthree-bedroom units, ranging from 899 sf to 2,390 sf. The projectarchitects are Houston-based PageSoutherlandPage and Verges RomeArchitects of New Orleans.

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"This isn't for a Gulf Coast, second-home kind of design,"Lauricella explains. "We're targeting people who are 50 years andolder, whose homes might have been damaged during HurricaneKatrina, but who may not want to spend the money to rebuild."

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Lauricella tells GlobeSt.com that shareholders of the golf andcountry club sought his company's services in early 2007 forfinancial help. Lauricella agreed to loan $4.4 million to the clubfor debt reconciliation while working on strategies to boostrevenue for the facility.

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Lauricella says a yearlong research project focused on ways tosave the land. "The critical issue isn't so much saving the countryclub as it is saving the green space," he says. "That's what thepolitical powers in Harahan and residents want to see--the greenspace saved. We found that the only way to save that space isthrough a vertical project."

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Lauricella, whose family lives in Harahan and who grew up in theNew Orleans suburb, says the team worked hard to find a solution tokeep green space without offending residents' sensibilities. Withlocal media reporting concerns by some local politicians andresidents, Lauricella says the best way to prove the project'sviability and visibility is to provide traction for it throughsales.

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"This is all about distinguishing our project from others in themarket," Lauricella says, adding he understands the localskepticism. "A number of projects have been announced in the city,but haven't done anything. My opinion is that the reason for thatis because they weren't the right projects for the people who couldafford them."

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