City Celebrates Reopening Of Historic St. Roch Market
NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Landrieu, City and State officials, FEMA and Bayou Secret, LLC, celebrated the reopening of the historic St. Roch Market, which was damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
In total, the new St. Roch Market will feature 13 individual vendors offering a variety of coastal and local foods and will support 96 new jobs.
“For over 130 years, the iconic St. Roch Market stood as an important anchor along the St. Claude Avenue commercial corridor until it was damaged by Hurricane Katrina,” said Mayor Landrieu. “As one of my administration’s committed capital projects, the redevelopment of this historic structure was an absolute priority. By working with the community, we identified an operator committed to restoring this market to its intended purpose, as a fresh food retailer. The return of the St. Roch Market is another example of what a successful public-private partnership can look like. We are thrilled to open these doors and announce that the historic St. Roch Market is once again open for business.”
Located at 2381 St. Claude Avenue, the new 8,600-square-foot St. Roch Market will serve the St. Claude, St. Roch, Seventh Ward, Marigny, and Bywater neighborhoods. It will once again offer fresh and prepared foods and fresh seafood, meats, produce and dairy in addition to a large variety of specialty foods. Vendors will also sell salads, sandwiches and other prepared food dishes. Creole, Korean and Nigerian foods will also be offered. St. Roch Market is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Lee Ledbetter & Associates, APC designed and Lathan Construction constructed the completely restored, $3.6 million renovation of St. Roch Market with funding from FEMA public assistance and with Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery assistance. In 2014, the New Orleans Building Corporation (NOBC) – the City’s public benefit corporation – selected Bayou Secret, LLC to operate the former food hall. Because the St. Roch Market was renovated as a "white box,” Bayou Secret, LLC was responsible for building out the market for its intended uses and selected food vendors.
Will Donaldson, Managing Member of Bayou Secret, LLC, said, “We’re honored to have been selected by the City of New Orleans to operate a project as important and noteworthy as the St. Roch Market. We’re looking forward to long lasting economic development in this historic neighborhood and providing delicious and healthy food options for the community.”
Councilmember-at-Large Stacy Head said, “Returning this historic site to its original use as a public market is something that every New Orleanian should be proud of. Additionally, with more than half of the new vendors coming from the 7th, 8th and 9th wards, we’ve provided an opportunity for our small local businesses to operate in a gorgeous new facility on one of our traditional commercial corridors and to serve their communities directly. Rooted in history, the St. Roch Market will now have a host of contemporary offerings for everyone to enjoy.”
Councilmember-at-Large Jason Rogers Williams said, “I am so excited for the residents of this city that the newly restored St. Roch Market is now open. This market is such a wonderful addition to a newly vibrant business corridor. Not only is this beautiful and historic building again open to the public, it is providing a necessary service to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. This project is an example of how community input can enhance public projects. I want to thank all of the community members and neighborhood groups who worked tirelessly to make this project as successful as possible. I now look forward to enjoying all of the food, drinks, and hospitality this diverse group of market vendors has to offer.”
District C Councilmember Nadine M. Ramsey said, “The reopening of the historic St. Roch market is another symbol of the rebirth being experienced throughout New Orleans neighborhoods. It brings together investors with local vendors to create a new version of the traditional New Orleans market. The new St. Roch market provides commerce with the added bonus of beautifully restoring an historic structure.”
District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett said, “I am thrilled to see this once-blighted gem returned to glory and to the stream of commerce. The St. Roch Market opening will be one in long series that proves that New Orleans is on the move.”
The St. Roch Market was built in 1875 as an open-air market. A renovation in 1914 fully enclosed the Market and full renovation was completed 1937 as part of Works Progress Administration efforts in New Orleans. In 1945, the City leased the St. Roch Market to a private owner for use as a seafood restaurant. The building was damaged during Hurricane Katrina and laid vacant.
In summer 2012, the City began a $3.6 million refurbishment of the 8,600-square-foot St. Roch Market and repairs were completed in early 2014. Repairs included roofing replacement, exterior masonry repair, and tuck-pointing. Complete restoration of the interior includes interior floating slab replacement, roof replacement, electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems replacement. All of the finishes and flooring in the entire facility have been replaced. The exterior doors, windows and interior doors have been replaced. The St. Roch Market was left as a “white box” so that it could have many potential uses.
The New Orleans Building Corporation (NOBC) hired New Orleans-based commercial real estate company Corporate Realty Inc. to find a tenant to lease the St. Roch Market at fair market value who could both operate the property in a manner sensitive to the community’s needs and who had the expertise and financial means to make the market an economically viable venture. After meeting with a number of interested tenants, NOBC selected Bayou Secret, LLC in summer 2014 to operate the St. Roch Market. Bayou Secret, LLC is a company which includes founding members of Launch Pad, an entrepreneurial workspace founded in 2009 in the Central Business District.
Cedric Grant, Acting CEO of the New Orleans Building Corporation, said, “The restoration of St. Roch Market is essential to the City’s place-based development strategy for revitalizing St. Claude Avenue and the surrounding neighborhoods. As the City’s public benefit corporation responsible for redeveloping the historic St. Roch Market, the New Orleans Building Corporation is excited about today’s grand opening of this important community anchor. By listening to and working closely with the community, we have successfully restored the St. Roch Market as a fresh food retailer that will create jobs and serve the community’s needs. Today’s grand opening is validation of everyone’s hard work”
Mike Womack, Director of the FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office, said, “Today we celebrate the return of this market to its historical place as an integral and vibrant community asset within the St. Roch neighborhood. We are proud of our role in supporting the repair of the St. Roch Market and remain committed to working with our state and local partners as New Orleans moves closer to a full recovery.”
Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development, said, “Restoring this landmark as a public market will revive its historical uses, bringing fresh food to the St. Roch neighborhood, while also serving as a community gathering spot. The State is proud to count the St. Roch Market among its many investments in this important, historic neighborhood.”