CBD development promises new housing, retail space - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

CBD development promises new housing, retail space


New Orleans, La. - One of the largest ground-up construction projects in the city of New Orleans in years is taking shape at O'Keefe Street. The progress is noisy. Construction workers driving pilings fill a void in the CBD.

"It takes this part of downtown that we refer to as the parking lot district and it puts it into higher commerce," said Kurt Weigle, of the Downtown Development District.

The South Market District is coming soon. Parking spaces will be replaced with upscale housing, shopping and entertainment. City leaders turned dirt for Phase I - more than 200 apartments and retail outlets called The Paramount.

"One of the most exciting parts is the public realm is expanded. The sidewalk will be larger. There will be on street dining at cafes," said Weigle.

Domain Companies spearheads the change in one of the city's hubs. It's the same company that worked to transform Tulane Avenue after Katrina.

"We were witnessing more than a recovery. It was a transformation of the economy," said Domain's Matthew Schwartz.

For four years his company has been gathering property for the four-square-block entertainment complex around Girod and O'Keefe.The new buildings will blend into a landscape of history and old bricks.

And as for parking?

"On the site behind me will be over 400 new spaces; above the site behind me will be over 400 new spaces and above-ground floor retail. There will be plenty of parking for residents and visitors, as well," Weigle said. 

Work will start on the second building with those parking spaces this fall.


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