- Gateway Development Consortium (GDC), the developer of the $1 billion, 10-year Cross Bayou Point mixed-use opportunity zone project in Shreveport, Louisiana, has selected an architect and contractor to lead the development’s design-build team, according to a GDC press release.
- GraceHebert Architects, which is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been in business for more than 50 years and specializes in master planning and programming for commercial, municipal, educational and criminal justice projects. Ozanne Construction is headquartered in Cleveland and has experience with the management of large public-private construction projects.
- GraceHebert and Ozanne have had a working relationship since 2008, having rebuilt the Orleans Parish criminal justice facilities in New Orleans together after Hurricane Katrina. GDC officials said the pair have the experience and understanding of the local construction market necessary to guide GDC through Cross Bayou Point’s master planning, development and building.
As part of the Cross Bayou Point project, GDC has proposed a new $100 million building that would house state offices; a $200 million criminal justice complex; Cyber Bayou, a “digital ecosystem" with a $45.2 million STEM school, a public-private incubator and space for local universities; the possible conversion of an existing courthouse into a Civil War and civil rights museum; a multiuse sports complex; and 5,000 residential units, divided into 30% affordable, 40% market rate and 30% luxury.
The Cross Bayou Point project is in one of Shreveport’s designated opportunity zones, which are economically challenged areas where investors in new development can earn tax breaks. The goal of the program is to create jobs and spark economic growth.
Opportunity zones support a wide variety of projects. New Jersey developer Ron Beit, for instance, built a $150 million Teachers Village in a Newark, New Jersey, opportunity zone, which included 203 affordable apartments — 70% occupied by teachers — along with three schools and 18 retail venues. Since completing that project, Beit has launched an investment fund that will build $700 million worth of similar projects in other opportunity zones.
Another investment group, Hawkins Way Capital, will take advantage of building in an opportunity zone when it constructs a two-brand Marriott hotel in downtown Oakland. The 18-story high-rise will feature a Residence Inn on the lower floors and an AC Hotel on the upper levels. The project will have a total of 286 rooms and should begin construction within the next few months. California construction company Millie and Severson is the general contractor.