NEW ORLEANS, LA- Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the New Orleans Business Alliance touted a 9.6 percent growth in the City’s sales tax revenue 2012 and 2013. In the quarterly Revenue Estimating Conference, committee members cited positive trends in population growth and visitor attraction efforts as key drivers in additional revenue collected by the City. Simultaneously, City Officials note the attraction of nationally recognized retailers and developers as a source of that growth.
“Our strategy has been pretty simple—cut smart, reorganize how government works so people can get the services they deserve, and invest the savings in what matters most,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “The last years gave us an opportunity to reclaim sales tax dollars that for years have left Orleans Parish. Our keen focus in attracting retail and development has allowed our residents to keep their tax dollars at home.”
Over the past four years, the Landrieu Administration has added more than 7,800 new jobs and introduced numerous retail and development projects across the city.
In summer 2013, the New Orleans Business Alliance, in partnership with the City of New Orleans and the Economic Development Administration, launched ProsperityNOLA, a five-year strategic plan to drive economic growth in targeted industry sectors.
Notable projects include: Mid-City Market, Costco, H&M, Tiffany & Co., CVS, Big Lots, Whole Foods and Circle Food Store.
"Our poignant efforts to attract retail over the last four years are yielding real benefits to the people of New Orleans," said Rodrick Miller, President & CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. "We have demonstrated that this is a viable market for retail growth as tax revenues are increasing and the people of New Orleans now have more options in quality shopping amenities."
Mid-City Market, located at North Carrollton Avenue and Bienville Street opened July 2013. The 108,763 square-foot shopping center, anchored by a 54,390 square-foot Winn-Dixie, represents one the of the most significant retail developments in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. Mid-City Market is a result of over $40 million in private investment. The shopping center created over 500 new jobs in the area.
Costco opened its first Louisiana warehouse in September 2013 at North Carrollton Avenue and Palmetto Street. The new store created 200 new jobs with 65% of them employing New Orleans residents. The global retailer is expected to generate a $21 million direct fiscal impact to the City over a 10-year period.
H&M, one of the world’s largest retailers known for offering fashion-forward apparel, opened its first Louisiana store November 2013, creating 70 new jobs. The new 32,000 square-foot store, located in the French Quarter, features the first H&M Home in-store department in the country.
Tiffany & Co. also opened its first Louisiana store at the Shops at Canal Place in November 2013. The 3,900 square-foot store created 21 new jobs.
Last year, the city also welcomed CVS and Big Lots stores to New Orleans East, bringing 50 new jobs to the area and a $20 million renovation to Algiers Plaza that added 100,000 square-feet of retail space.
“Our strong focus on attracting new retail development across the city is yielding results -- more jobs for our local citizens, more quality shopping amenities in our neighborhoods, and now more sales tax revenue to fund city priorities,” said Aimee Quirk, Advisor to the Mayor for Economic Development.
The City is expecting continued success as several high-quality projects will come online this year, including, Wal-Marts in Gentilly and New Orleans East, creating an estimated 600 jobs as well as the $200 million South Market District, a mixed-use development in downtown New Orleans.
At the start of 2014 the historic Circle Food Store opened its restored property in the 7th Ward. Circle Food received $1 million in funding through the New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative.
Tomorrow, City Officials will join the Howard Hughes Corporation for the grand opening of the $70 million redevelopment of The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, the nation’s first outlet center located in a downtown setting. The project is expected to create over 1,600 permanent jobs.
In addition to creating opportunities for new retail development, the City attributed the growth to improved tax collection efforts.
“Since day one, our goal has been to identify the ways to increase the City’s tax revenue,” said Deputy Mayor and CAO Andy Kopplin. “Over the past four years, in addition to sustained retail and development growth, we have improved the City’s ability to collect owed taxes with increased enforcement.”