|La France Apartments|
Location: West Settler's Historic District, 140 NW 4th Avenue
Project Description: Built in 1949, the former La France Hotel is recognized as the area's first hotel and has been recognized as a contributing structure within the West Settler's Historic District. Until recently, the two-story building was being used as a 16-room boarding house with two full bathrooms on each floor.
This historic landmark was one of the few lodgings in South Florida that welcomed African-Americans during the segregation era of the 1950s and 1960s. The La France served as a neighborhood social center and was a seasonal home for northern laborers, waiters and chauffeurs. It has also been associated with several black musicians and entertainers traveling to the area to play local clubs.
Committed to preserving and restoring the structure, the CRA purchased the property in 2004 and contracted to do a study of the building's history and occupants. The CRA also made a commitment to involve the surrounding neighborhood and community in determining the final use of the property. The agency distributed surveys and held meetings in the area to discuss potential uses, such as a bed and breakfast inn, office space for nonprofit agencies, and a senior citizen activity center. After much consideration, the community reached a consensus that affordable housing for low-income seniors would be the most desirable long-term use of the property.
Delray architects Currie Sowards Aguila created plans to convert the 16 rooms into 8 efficiency apartments and to construct a second building on the site to provide 6 one-bedroom rental units. Delray-based Mouw Construction began renovations to the property in October 2006. A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the project's completion was held on November 15, 2007. The total project cost approximately $2.2 million.
|US 1 Corridor Project|
|Downtown Bypass System Conversion|
|West Atlantic Avenue Beautification|
|Old School Square Expansion|
|Library and Parking Garage|
|La France Apartments|
|NW/SW 5th Avenue Street Improvements|
|A-1-A Sidewalk Widening|
|Tennis Center Infill Development|
|East Atlantic Avenue Median Installation|
|Shared Public/Private Parking Garage|
|Swinton Ave. Traffic Calming|