NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined representatives from Stirling Properties and JCH Development, and local officials to celebrate the start of construction on Magnolia Marketplace, a $24.4 million shopping center that will fill a retail gap in the heart of Central City along the Claiborne Avenue corridor and create more than 200 full-time jobs.
“Magnolia Marketplace is further proof that New Orleans is on a retail roll,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This project represents economic growth, jobs and opportunities and more retail options for an underserved community. Projects like this are why people are looking at New Orleans as a model for economic revival and urban renewal.”
Located on 6.5 acres bounded by Clara Street, Washington Avenue, Toledano Street and Claiborne Avenue, Magnolia Marketplace is expected to open in spring 2015 with tenants Ross Dress For Less, T.J.Maxx, Michaels, PetSmart, Shoe Carnival, ULTA Beauty and Raising Cane’s. The project is 100% pre-leased. Previously announced was the 6,000 square foot initial phase of Magnolia Marketplace development located at the intersection of South Claiborne Avenue and Fourth Street. Capital One Bank is currently open in that building. T‐Mobile and a proposed national sandwich shop are slated to open in early 2014.
Magnolia Marketplace will create an estimated 344 construction jobs and 217 permanent jobs.
Watch Mayor Landrieu's remarks at Magnolia Marketplace groundbreaking.
View photographs from today's groundbreaking.
Townsend Underhill, Senior Vice President of Development for Stirling Properties, said, “This project embodies the strength of the New Orleans recovery and represents yet another important step in bringing retail back to the city. We are excited to be moving forward with Magnolia Marketplace, another project that signifies Stirling’s commitment to the City of New Orleans.”
Stirling’s recent projects in New Orleans include Mid-City Market, a 108,000 square-foot Winn-Dixie anchored shopping center located at North Carrollton Avenue and Bienville Street, as well as the full renovation of the former American Legion building located on Magazine Street into a new 13,000 square foot Walgreens Marquee Store. Since 2011, Stirling Properties has invested over $120 million in the City New Orleans.
Tara Hernandez, President of JCH Development, said “We are proud to bring a dynamic new retail development to an underserved portion of Central City. This development will bring a formerly vacant and blighted piece of property in the City of New Orleans back to commerce.”
JCH Development’s most recent project is the conversion of the former Blue Plate manufacturing facility into the Blue Plate Artist Lofts, 72 residential lofts, on South Jefferson Davis Pkwy.
Magnolia Marketplace is the latest example of New Orleans recent retail boom that includes the recent openings of Mid-City Market, Algiers Plaza and Costco, and projects under construction such as the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, South Market District downtown and Walmart stores in Gentilly and New Orleans East.
These recent projects are significant in light of a recent report by the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) that analyzed the retail spending of Orleans Parish residents in 2012. The report estimates that Orleans Parish loses $1.9 billion in retail sales to neighboring parishes and other U.S. cities each year.
"Magnolia Marketplace will be a game-changer for increased quality retail amenities along the Claiborne corridor—the vital lifeline of our urban core," said Rodrick T. Miller, President and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. "Our public private partnerships to drive economic development in New Orleans are strong and effective, and this project is a prime example of what is possible as we anticipate even more growth in 2014."
Magnolia Marketplace is designed provide high-quality retail opportunities to currently underserved communities needs for well-planned shopping amenities and diverse retail options.
Magnolia Marketplace is directly south of Harmony Oaks, the 460-unit, mixed-income residential development. It will serve one of the city’s busiest corridors, with traffic counts exceeding 70,000 cars a day. Claiborne Avenue also provides a vital connection between Uptown New Orleans and the Central Business District.
"Magnolia Marketplace will not only bring new, quality retail to Central City, it will create new jobs for neighborhood residents, put a vacant property back in commerce and onto the property tax rolls, and create new sales and property tax revenue to support citizen priorities like public safety, streets and recreation."
In October, the New Orleans City Council unanimously approved a special economic development district for the project site that will levy a special 1% sales tax to finance up to $2.3 million in select extraordinary flood elevation costs, public infrastructure improvements and financing costs. The Council will govern the special economic development district, which is limited to the retail complex.
District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said, "This is a great day for Central City and New Orleans. This community was willing to work with the developer's plans and helped make this project a reality. Because of their commitment and foresight, there will soon be new national retail stores joining this business corridor and new jobs. Claiborne is quickly becoming a shopping destination."
City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, “Magnolia Marketplace will add much needed retail to the Claiborne Corridor, which is on the rise! This is one of the most creative financing packages we have done in our City and it will help pay for itself, in addition to creating jobs for our citizens. We are so excited to be part of this!”
Councilmember-at-Large Stacy Head said, “I have been championing the revival of Claiborne Avenue since I took office as the District B Councilmember in 2006—promising the people of New Orleans that we would once again have retail options on this major thoroughfare,” says New Orleans City Council Vice President Stacy Head. “This effort began during the conceptual phase of the Harmony Oaks development through assuring that the Claiborne side of Harmony Oaks would remain available for retail development. We are thrilled to welcome Magnolia Marketplace to Claiborne Avenue and its many surrounding neighborhoods that have for too long been starved for more retail. Working with the first-class team of Stirling Properties and JCH Development to bring it to fruition has been a pleasure and I know that I am not alone in saying that I am grateful to them for their commitment to this neighborhood and this catalytic project.”
District D Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, “The Magnolia Marketplace is a big step forward for New Orleans. We’re bringing several national retailers into the city that until now have only been in surrounding parishes. Giving residents close and convenient stores, and jobs, is vital to our economic success. This development will continue our momentum, and help us keep more tax dollars right here in Orleans Parish.”