New Orleans, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined representatives from The Domain Companies, elected officials and other dignitaries to celebrate the start of construction on the first phase of the South Market District. The $200 million mixed-use development links the Central Business District with the historic Warehouse/Arts District and the Sports Entertainment District and will play a major role changing the landscape of the historic downtown area.
Representatives of The Domain Companies, Mayor Landrieu, State Representative Walt Leger III, State Representative Helena Moreno, City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell, Kurt Weigle, President and CEO of the Downtown Development District, and state and local leaders attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
Watch South Market District ground breaking
View photos from the ground breaking ceremony
Located just steps from the Superdome and New Orleans Arena, South Market District plans to combine first-class apartments with retail shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The completed project will include over 600 new apartments and 170,000 square feet of retail space within a four-block area that runs along both sides of Girod Street, from Loyola Avenue to Baronne Street. The District is adjacent to the Union Passenger Terminal and the recently completed Loyola Avenue streetcar line.
“The progress that we’ve seen in the redevelopment of our city during the last 3½ years is proof that New Orleans is coming back strong. Whether it’s the Domain Companies’ new mixed-use transit-oriented development, the construction of the New Orleans East Hospital, the redevelopment of Louis Armstrong International Airport or the new complex at Mid-City Market, we are consistently introducing jobs, new housing and retail options, and critical infrastructure across the city,” Mayor Landrieu said.
The Paramount at South Market, the first building to commence construction, will feature 209 luxury apartments and 22,000 square feet of retail space. The $48.4 million Paramount will occupy the full city block bounded by Girod Street, S. Rampart Street, Lafayette Street and O’Keefe Avenue and will include 209 apartments and 22,000 square feet of retail. The five-story building will achieve Silver LEED for Homes certification and features a design based upon a modern interpretation of the architectural influences of the Warehouse District. The ground floor will feature retail storefronts along Girod, O’Keefe and a portion of Lafayette and South Rampart.
This fall, Domain will commence work on a second building, located on the Girod and O’Keefe corner. The $20 million project will include an additional 25,000 square feet of retail space and 435 garage parking spaces. The remaining two sites, located between Girod, O’Keefe, Julia and Loyola, will include a mix of residential and retail space. Construction will commence in 2014 and 2015.
"South Market is going to take the CBD to the next level,” said District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell. “The impact is huge – in terms of economic development, jobs, and quality of life. Downtown is not just a great place to work, it's a great place to live."
“We are so excited to bring the South Market District of luxury apartments, retail, restaurants and entertainment to the heart of downtown,” said Councilmember President Clarkson. “This continues to put New Orleans in a very big way on the national map of top urban living.”
Council Vice President Stacy Head, said, “Congratulations and thank you to The Domain Companies and their development team on years of hard work to bring this transformative project to fruition in the heart of Downtown New Orleans. I am delighted by the story of Domain Principals Chris Papamichael and Matt Schwartz, both Tulane University graduates who returned to New Orleans to share their vision and dedication to make our city a better place.”
South Market District is designed to position Girod as its focal point and transform the street into a vibrant, pedestrian-oriented, shopping and entertainment corridor. To accomplish this, Domain worked with City and State Agencies to secure approvals to close a traffic lane on Girod and widen the sidewalks from seven to approximately twenty feet wide. The work includes the reconstruction of approximately 390 linear feet of street with new asphalt pavements, concrete curbs, sidewalks, driveways, intersections, ADA ramps, sub-surface drainage, utility piping, street lights, traffic signals, traffic control signs, and pavement markings, street trees and signage.
The project will cost approximately $930,000, with funding provided as follows: $500,000 CDBG loan from the Louisiana Office of Community Development, $300,000 grant from the Louisiana State Capital Outlay Fund (through the Downtown Development District), $40,000 investment from the Delta Regional Authority (through the Downtown Development District), and all remaining funds contributed by South Market District LLC.
"This project speaks to the continuing revival of New Orleans' downtown into a more vibrant, more livable neighborhood, said State Senator Karen Carter-Peterson. “This momentum should yield positive economic dividends for our entire city."
Representative Moreno said, “Downtown New Orleans is booming and the South Market District is yet another major enhancement to this area. Its retailers will be an asset to Downtown's residential population which has doubled over the past ten years and its hundreds of new apartments will provide even more opportunities to bring in new residents. I’m proud to have this project in my district and my neighborhood.”
Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development said, “This mixed-use development in downtown New Orleans is another step in driving the economic recovery of the city and the region,” “An investment of recovery funds from HUD will be used for street and other infrastructure improvements, which will provide multiple benefits to the project and the city.” The Girod work is anticipated to take approximately six months to complete. Hard Rock Construction is the general contractor.
Representative Leger said, "I am so proud to see this important project moving forward. This major retail and residential development and the capital investment and job creation that goes along with it, would not be possible without outstanding support from the State of Louisiana, and the support of my legislative colleagues. By extending the Enterprise Zone legislation to include Transit Oriented Developments, like this one along our new streetcar line on Loyola Avenue, we have supported a project that will be a major economic development driver in the continued renaissance of our great City and the region."
“The South Market project is a major milestone for Downtown New Orleans,” said Kurt Weigle, President and CEO of the Downtown Development District. “South Market at completion will create essentially a new Downtown neighborhood, so it was vitally important that we get the planning & place-making right. The DDD's goal was to create a modern neighborhood with the human scale, walkability & charm that make New Orleans one of the world's great cities. Domain has done just that.”
Chris Massingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority said, “A city’s downtown is the driver for both local and outside investment in a community, encouraging small business development as well as supporting the city’s tourism and hospitality industries. This is a smart investment in the people, businesses, and future economic success of New Orleans.” The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that is congressionally mandated to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives for the people of the eight-state Delta region.