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New Orleans Investments Create Hundreds of New IT, Industrial Jobs

2 May 2014, 6:41 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

New Orleans recently realized a slew of investments worth tens of millions and several hundred new jobs. The investment will also boost the local real estate market, specifically the industrial sector.

Probably the most significant of these investments is TCI Plastics’ 500,000-square-foot logistics expansion at the Port of New Orleans.  Parent company Jensen Cos. announced that the $36.5 million investment will retain 200 existing jobs and create 160 new ones by 2020, with an average salary of $33,400 plus benefits. The project is also expected to generate 183 new indirect jobs, rounding up the total workforce impact to 343 new positions.

TCI will develop the new logistics facility near its existing France Road Wharf hub, within the mega-plastics district the company is creating at an inner harbor cargo site in Gentilly. To accommodate the new structure, as well as future expansions, TCI will spend $3.1 million to acquire 32 acres of land from the Port of New Orleans. TCI will also create a rail spur connecting its facility to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, an investment that is expected to be offset by a performance-based Economic Development Award tax incentive package granted by the state of Louisiana. It is also expected to make use of Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. The project is planned for a mid-2014 groundbreaking and completion in the third quarter of 2016.

Also set for a mid-2014 groundbreaking is Agrico Sales’ new 56,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in eastern New Orleans. The $2 million facility will be a relocation and expansion of Agrico’s current manufacturing facility located in Bridge City, Jefferson Parish. The relocation will retain the company’s 35 current employees and add 25 new direct jobs, with average salaries of $40,000 plus benefits.  The project, set to wrap up by the end of the year, is expected to create an additional 421 indirect jobs, as well.

The Louisiana Governor’s Office also announced that 4th Source Inc. will relocate its corporate headquarters from Atlanta to metro New Orleans and establish a new technology and IT services facility in Kenner, La. By 2018, the relocation is projected to create 320 new jobs, with an average annual salary of $50,000 plus benefits, and 412 new indirect jobs.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of Port of New Orleans via Facebook.



$3M Senior Center to Replace Katrina-Marred Structure

25 Apr 2014, 4:57 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The city of New Orleans, in partnership with FEMA, has broken ground on the new Carrollton Hollygrove Senior Center at 3300 Hamilton St. in the Carrollton Hollygrove neighborhood, the New Orleans Mayor’s Office announced.  The $3 million center will replace the 1920s-built structure destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The 19,000-square-foot facility will be significantly larger than its 10,200-square-foot predecessor. It will feature a variety of senior day care activities and facilities such as a computer and library room, exercise facility, multipurpose venue for arts and crafts, conference room, commercial-grade kitchen, dining lounge and patio, doctor’s office, examination room and social services office. As with the old facility, the new center will be operated by the New Orleans Council on Aging.

“Carrollton Hollygrove was a vital part of the Carrollton-Hollygrove community before Katrina … as not just a senior center but a community focal point for information, education and services that benefited the entire community,” recalled Executive Director of the New Orleans Council on Aging Howard Rogers III.

Designed by In-Site Developments LLC, the new facility is being constructed by Wharton Smith Inc. with disadvantaged business enterprises Alternative Source Inc., Rufino’s Painting & Construction, Mackie One Construction, A&A Mechanical Inc. and Malone Electrical Service Inc. also involved in the development.

With FEMA having declared the previous structure substantially damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the facility became eligible for a 100 percent cost replacement. As such, FEMA will contribute a significant part of the funding for the new facility, while the rest of the funding, necessary due to increased size, will come from city bond funds.

The Carollton Hollygrove Senior Center is expected to be complete in spring 2015.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of the New Orleans Mayor’s Office.



HMC Nabs Management Contract for Slidell Wingate Inn

19 Apr 2014, 4:53 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Dallas-based Hospitality Management Corp. (HMC) has been appointed manager for the new 82-key Wingate Inn Slidell/New Orleans East.

Located in Slidell, just 30 minutes north of New Orleans, the 2013-built hotel is easily accessed from I-10, making it easy to reach local attractions such as the Infinity Science Center, Oak Harbor Golf Club and Fork Pike State Historic Site. It is also adjacent to Oschner Clinic and within walking distance of shopping and dining. Opened in January 2014, the hotel offers amenities such as a fitness center, an indoor heated pool, a spa tub, a business center, meeting and conference rooms, parking (including some that accommodates buses and RVs), a bar and lounge, a gift shop and laundry facilities. Rooms and suites offer complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.

HMC also manages the Microtel Pearl River in Pearl River, also in the Greater New Orleans area, as well as two other Louisiana hotels: the Crowne Plaza Lafayette Airport in Lafayette and the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Gonzales in Gonzales, in the Baton Rouge metro.  The privately owned HMC is one of the oldest independent hotel management firms in the industry. HMC currently manages 24 hotels across the U.S.

In other news, Covington’s Southern Hotel and the city of Covington partnered for a job fair to fill the 27 positions available at the historic boutique hotel set to open in 2014. As previously reported, a group of local investors acquired the Southern Hotel in 2011, along with an adjacent tract, with plans to renovate and return the historic hotel to its original use. The 40-plus key full-service boutique hotel will boast luxury amenities such as a 2,400-square-foot ballroom, spa facilities and a pool.  The hotel will also be home to Ox Lot 9, a restaurant headed by famed chef Jeffrey Hansell.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of Hospitality Management Corp.



Stirling Continues Walgreens Developments with 14 KSF Drug Store in Metairie

14 Apr 2014, 6:25 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Future Location of Metairie Walgreens

Stirling Properties has announced plans to develop a new full-service Walgreens drugstore in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie. Set to rise at the corner of Veterans and Power boulevards, the proposed drugstore will be built in the Barlon Plaza Shopping Center. The store will be a ground-up relocation of an existing Walgreens located within the shopping center.

The new location will be larger, offering 14,000 square feet of retail space, and will feature a full-service pharmacy and drive-through window. Set to break ground in July and be completed in the first quarter of 2015, the development is expected to contribute to the revitalization of Barlon Plaza and the retail corridor where it is located.

Stirling Properties will provide pre-development services such as lease negotiation, permitting, financing, design, and project and construction management.

Ribboncutting at Terrytown Walgreens

Stirling is the preferred developer for the Walgreen Co. in the Gulf South and has developed multiple Walgreens locations throughout the region. This includes the recently opened full-service Walgreens drug store in Terrytown on the Westbank of New Orleans. The store, which opened in late March, is located on the corner of Terry Parkway and Carol Sue Avenue on the site of the former shopping center anchored by A&P Grocery/Eckerd Drug. As previously reported, the 17,384-square-foot store broke ground in April 2013 and is expected to revitalize this retail corridor, as well.

Stirling also handled the full conversion of the historic former Ed Brauner American Legion Post #307 to a 13,000-square-foot Walgreens marquee store (details here), which opened  a little over a year ago.

Click here for further market data.

Images courtesy of Stirling Properties



Stirling Properties Acquires 256-Unit Luxury Apartment Complex

7 Apr 2014, 2:01 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Stirling Properties has announced the acquisition of Ansley Place, a 246-unit luxury apartment community in Houma, La. Buyer Stirling Communities II L.L.C., a group of investors led by Stirling Properties, closed on the purchase of  the Class A community for an undisclosed amount. The deal included the assumption of an existing HUD 223 (f) loan on the property. The acquisition of Ansley Place has brought the ownership group’s overall portfolio to 1,042 units, all of which are managed by Des Moines-based BH Management Services L.L.C.

Sprawling across 21 acres, the garden-style luxury community comprises 13 two- and three-story apartment buildings, a one-story leasing office and four single-story garage facilities. Amenities include a resort-style swimming pool, fitness center, clubhouse, cyber café, car care center and extra storage. The gated community offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging from 643 to 1,287 square feet and featuring private patios or balconies, sunrooms and oversize closets.

Stirling Properties officials expect a substantial increase in Houma’s and the surrounding area’s populations over the next few years due to a significant uptick in activity at Port Fourchon, the shipyards of Edison Chouest and Bollinger, as well as expansion projects among important service firms in the Houma area.

“With its excellent location, superior floor plans and premier status in the market, Ansley Place offers our investors a high-quality asset located directly in the path of Houma’s growing economy,” commented Justin Landry, head of multi-family asset management for Stirling Properties.

Click here for further New Orleans market data.

Image courtesy of Ansley Place via Facebook







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