Convention Center Authority Issues RFQ for Master Developer of Convention Center District Development Project

NEW ORLEANS — The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority (Authority), the governing board of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, is now soliciting responses from qualified master developers to create a comprehensive development plan and strategy for the approximately 20 acres of the Authority’s overall 47 acre parcel, adjacent to the Convention Center in downtown New Orleans.

According to a press release, the Authority envisions that the 20 acres will be for a mixed-use development to complement a headquarter hotel already in negotiations, an entertainment concept and additional Authority specific uses already being considered. The Authority expects the development to be reflective of the unique culture and history of New Orleans and include elements not commonly found in other parts of the nation. The selected master developer would enter into a long-term agreement with the authority to implement the plan for all or portions of the site.

“Collectively, the mixed-use development of these 20 acres, the headquarters hotel currently being negotiated, the Pedestrian Park and Transportation Center under construction and the other enhancements the Authority is undertaking at the Convention Center, will represent the largest economic development initiative in the city in decades if ever,” said Authority chairman Melvin Rodrigue.

Last year the Authority approved a $557 million five year Capital Improvement Plan that will include complete renovations to the all the Convention Center’s meeting rooms and public spaces, a retrofit of all exhibit hall lighting, replacing its 40-acre roof and complete upgrade of its technology infrastructure.

“Within the next five to seven years, between the Authority and the private sector, nearly $2 billion will have been invested to improve the experience for both our visitors and residents that will support thousands of new jobs and generated millions of new tax dollars for the New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.  The Master Developer selected through this process will help the Authority realize the most transformative era for New Orleans since the opening of the Convention Center,” said Michael Sawaya, Convention Center president and general manager.

Qualified parties should visit to register with the Exhibition Hall Authority website to view and download the RFQ details. The deadline for submittal is Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.

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