Convention Center Receives Proposals from Developers

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AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

NEW ORLEANS – The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Exhibition Hall Authority, the governing body of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, said it has received proposals to develop 39 acres that will complement the planned headquarters hotel attached to the convention center along the New Orleans riverfront. Three teams were selected to respond to a request for proposals after being short-listed from a group of five original respondents to a request for qualifications for experienced developers.    

The Exhibition Hall Authority said the master development teams have been challenged to design a mixed-use development that will lead to a vibrant neighborhood, serve as an economic driver for the State of Louisiana and City of New Orleans, and represent a compelling value proposition that will attract visitors and uses to the site.

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a public policy watchdog, recently released a report asking convention center leaders to rethink the plan to build a large hotel. There are concerns that similar projects in other cities failed to produce the promised spike in convention business and that the coronavirus pandemic has created other more urgent financial priorities.

Final RFP submissions were received March 5. The three selected teams are as follows: 

  • The Domain Companies
  • RDNI
  • WLC Muse

The submissions have been posted publicly on the authority’s website at https://exhallnola.com/master-developer-responses/.

“We are extremely gratified by the interest shown by five well-regarded and highly-experienced development teams, and believe the three finalists demonstrate the kind of vision, experience, and capabilities necessary to bring this transformative project to life,” said Walt Leger III, newly appointed chairman of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority. 

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