- The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority has selected River District Neighborhood Investors LLC as its partner in the development of a $1 billion mixed-use project on 39 acres of land next to the existing convention center.
- River District's master plan includes new dining, entertainment, retail, hotel and housing options, as well as experiential entertainment offerings like rock climbing. The project will also include a 750,000-square-foot corporate campus geared toward attracting tech companies interested in relocating to New Orleans, River District said in its proposal.
- The River District project represents a shift in the authority's original plan to use the 39 acres for an expansion of the convention center. However, subsequent studies about what would draw more visitors, conventions and trade shows to the city revealed that a live/work/play neighborhood would be more compelling. The authority is making improvements to the convention center as well.
In its proposal, River District said the project would include:
- More than 2.4 million square feet of mixed-use spaces across two phases.
- 1,100 new market-rate residential units.
- 450 workforce and affordable housing units.
- 27% African American equity ownership.
- 18% women equity ownership.
- 30% Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation.
- 1,000 construction job years.
River District's proposal also identified members of the team that will be performing design work and construction. They include:
- The Lemoine Co., a general contracting firm.
- Gibbs Construction, a general contractor.
- Boh Bros. Construction Co., a general contractor specializing in heavy civil, sitework, utilities, marine and paving.
- Broadmoor, a general contractor founded by Boh Bros.
- Gensler, a global architecture firm.
- Manning Architects, a certified DBE firm.
- Stantec, an international design and engineering firm.
- Integrated Logistical Support, a Small Business Administration 8(a) certified woman-owned business.
- GH Mechanical and Services, which specializes in HVAC, plumbing, low-voltage systems, municipal water and electric meter replacements.
- Stratum Engineering, a certified state and local DBE that specializes in geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing and inspection.
In the River District proposal, the team said that it was inspired by The Wharf project in Washington, D.C., and met with developer Hoffman Madison to help flesh out the New Orleans plan and to understand what made The Wharf successful. Lessons learned from the collaboration were that it was important to complete all the infrastructure first and commit to delivering a "substantial percentage of the program necessary for momentum."