New Orleans Convention Center

Convention Center entertainment district developer list down to 3

By CityBusiness Staff Reports

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

April 20, 2020

Three developers have been selected as finalists for a mixed-use entertainment district on 39 acres adjacent to a new headquarters hotel planned for the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The selected teams are The Domain Companies; River District Neighborhood Investors LLC, which has Elmwood-based Lauricella Land Co. as a co-managing member; and WLC Muse, a joint venture of Woodward, Leventhal and Carpenter & Company. They submitted final RFPs on March 5 after being selected from a list of five companies that initially responded to a Request for Qualifications, according to the Convention Center Exhibition Hall Authority.

The teams’ submissions are posted on the Authority’s website here.

The Authority in 2018 approved a 5-year, $557 million plan for the Convention Center that includes funding for the entertainment district.

A 1,200-room Omni-branded hotel is being developed by Texas-based Matthews Southwest Hospitality and local businessman Darryl Berger.

The Bureau of Governmental Research recently renewed calls to reconsider the development now that tourism and conventions have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

A report released April 9 by the public policy organization also suggests reducing the public’s financial contribution to the hotel which includes property and sales tax exemptions and other subsidies over 40 years.

“To be clear, we are currently focused on our role in serving the community in contributing to our recovery from the current health and corresponding economic crisis. When the Authority Board of Commissioners is able to resume regular meetings, we will take a fresh look at the development proposals, and give a meaningful opportunity for public input,” Walt Leger III, the newly appointed chairman of the Authority, said in a news release Monday.

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