Mayor Landrieu Touts 2014 Economic Development And Job Creation

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu applauded the successes of the City’s economic development efforts during 2014. Throughout the year, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the New Orleans Business Alliance continued to celebrate the attraction of nationally recognized retailers and the continued distinction of New Orleans as a hub for economic innovation and growth.

         “When we came into office in 2010, we had a clear mandate— facilitate job growth and create opportunities for our residents,” Mayor Landrieu said. “Since then, we have created 9,100 new jobs by attracting and retaining businesses that are committed to hiring across New Orleans. Now we’re on a roll – creating pathways for our residents to participate in the tremendous growth across the city.”

         “In 2014, we continued our focus on delivering results for our citizens,” Aimee Quirk, Mayor Landrieu’s Senior Advisor for Economic Development, said. “Whether through major business attraction wins across the city, successful retail attraction and continued investment in our workforce development, supplier diversity and small business initiatives, we went to work to ensure New Orleans is open for business and that every citizen of New Orleans could have the opportunity to participate in the City’s economic prosperity. We have a strong foundation and anticipate continued progress in the coming year.”

         City of New Orleans media advisors said there were many highlights in economic development this year:


Job Creation And New Opportunities Lead To Growth In The City’s Tax Base


         Since May 2010, the Landrieu Administration has welcomed more than 9,100 new jobs and more than $1.2 billion in new private capital investment.

         The new development across the city is leading to growth in the City’s tax base. Early this year, the City announced that there were $520 million in new taxable retail sales in 2013, resulting in $13 million in new sales tax retail revenues for the general fund, a 9.5% growth over 2012.

         Growth is expected to continue in 2014. It is estimated that there will be approximately $400 million in new retail sales in 2014, which will result in $10 million in new sales tax retail revenues for the general fund, a 7% growth over 2013.


City, Aviation Board Announce Louis Armstrong Airport Expansion


         To start the year, Mayor Landrieu and the New Orleans Aviation Board unveiled the conceptual designs for the new world-class terminal of the Louis Armstrong International Airport. The new North Terminal will be constructed on the north side of the existing Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) property, creating more than 13,000 new construction jobs and significant opportunities for local businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) in the region.

         District D Councilmember Jared Brossett said, “The new terminal construction is expected to bring 13,000 construction jobs and provide much needed economic growth once it is complete. The opportunity this creates for local workers and disadvantaged businesses is truly exciting.”

         For the fourth consecutive year in 2013, the number of passengers served at the Louis Armstrong International Airport has grown; serving more than 9.2 million in that year alone. In an effort to continue this growth the airport has aggressively sought to expand its services, carriers, and destinations offered.

         Over 2014, the airport has expanded its service with the welcomed addition of four major airlines providing services to and from New Orleans including: Alaska Air, Vacation Express, Spirit Airlines, and Allegiant Air. With the addition of these airlines and additional destinations, MSY offers more non-stop flights now than ever.


City Celebrates Major Business Attraction Wins


         The City began the year with the opening of the historic Circle Food Store. The iconic grocery store returned to the 7th Ward neighborhood after 9 years with support from the City’s Fresh Food Retailer Initiative.

         In mid-January, Mayor Landrieu joined Stirling Properties and JCH Development to break ground on the Magnolia Marketplace, a $24.4 million shopping center in the heart of Central City along the Claiborne Avenue corridor. Tenants include Ross Dress For Less, T.J.Maxx, Michaels, PetSmart, Shoe Carnival, ULTA Beauty and Raising Cane’s. The development will open in spring 2015, creating 200 full-time jobs.

         In February, Mayor Landrieu and other city officials celebrated the opening of Whole Foods Market as part of the Refresh project on North Broad Street. Refresh revitalized a former Schwegmann’s supermarket into a 60,000-square-foot space that, in addition to Whole Foods, includes Liberty’s Kitchen, Tulane University’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, Broad Community Connections and FirstLine Schools. The project created 125 jobs and was funded in part by the City’s Fresh Food Retailer Initiative.

         Also in February, International Shipholding Corp. announced plans to return its headquarters to New Orleans, bringing with it 100 new jobs to the city. The company was founded here in 1947 and had relocated out of state after Hurricane Katrina.

         IT Minerals, a company that processes imported raw materials, also announced in February that the company would be investing $4.5 million to build an importing, processing, and exporting facility at the Port of New Orleans. 

         In May, Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced plans to return their shipping operations to the Port of New Orleans, after a nearly 40-year hiatus. The project is estimated to create approximately 270 to 350 new permanent jobs in New Orleans as well as an increase total economic output, from $373 million to $485 million, over the next 10 years.

         Also in May, Cobalt Medical Development broke ground on the company’s $22 million rehabilitation facility that will bring 165 permanent jobs and 165 construction jobs to the city.

         The Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk also opened its doors in May. The $80 million renovation included an expansion of 50,000-square-foot, bringing the total space to 250,000-square-foot. Anchor tenants include Last Call Studio by Neiman Marcus and Coach Factory Store.

         In summer 2014, Mayor Landrieu celebrated the opening of two Walmart locations, in Gentilly and New Orleans East. Jointly, the stores created 700 full and part time jobs and tremendously aided to the overall revitalization of each community.

         In June, Mayor Landrieu, in partnership with The Food Trust and Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE), announced a funding award to Jack and Jake’s, Inc. as part of the New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI). The grocer will open and operate a 23,000-square-foot grocery store in the former Myrtle Banks Elementary School on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, creating 33 new full-time jobs and 35 part-time jobs in the Central City community.

         In August, the City announced plans to redevelop the historic St. Roch Market, an important anchor for the St. Claude commercial corridor for more than 130 years. The City completed a $3.5 million renovation of the building which was damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Bayou Secret, LLC anticipates opening the St. Roch Market to the public in spring 2015.

         Plans for a new CVS/Pharmacy in the Lower 9th Ward were also announced in August. The new location is expected to open in the second half of 2015. It marked the first major retailer to commit to a project in the neighborhood since Hurricane Katrina. 

         In September, Renaissance Rx announced plans to complete an $8 million headquarters expansion to support growth of its pharmacogenetic laboratory in New Orleans. The expansion of this locally grown startup will create at least 425 biomedical jobs.

         In November, construction began on The Beacon, the third building in the South Market District project, a mixed-use development on an area of vacant parking lots off Loyola Avenue downtown. The $40 million Beacon project will consist of a seven-story building with 126 apartments and 20,000-square-feet of retail space. The building will join The Paramount and The Park buildings, which are nearing completion and are set to open in 2015.

         In December, High Voltage Software announced plans to locate a new game development studio in New Orleans, creating 80 new jobs with average salaries of $89,000.


City Invests In Workforce Development And Training


         The City’s Office of Workforce Development, through its JOB1 Business and Career Solutions Center, assisted over 2,800 new job seekers with employment and training services in 2014. The City’s job creation efforts continued its focus on youth as well; employing 2,307 youth ages 14-21 through NOLA youth works and NORDC.

         In an effort to connect local residents to jobs, the Office of Workforce Development collaborated with businesses to facilitate local hiring. The Office of Workforce Development partnered with Whole Foods Markets, the Outlet Collections at the Riverwalk, Circle Food Store, The New Orleans East Hospital, and Jack and Jake’s to facilitate local hiring. These efforts generally net an average of 76% local rate.

         In September, the Office of Workforce Development was awarded a Workforce Innovation Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The $5.8 million grant will fund a workforce training program an advanced manufacturing and energy sectors.


City Provides Opportunities For Small Businesses


         In November, the Office of Economic Development announced the third round of the Small Business Assistance Fund, a partnership with NewCorp to support the growth of new and existing small businesses. In its previous two rounds, the fund has provided over $1.4 million to local small businesses and created 89 jobs.

         The City’s Office of Supplier Diversity continued its work to create opportunities for disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs). Through the office’s compliance efforts, certified DBE firms were awarded approximately $21.3 million in new business opportunities with the City of New Orleans, representing 37% of the total value of contracts awarded this year. The office also worked to increase the number of certified firms. It certified a total of 66 new firms in 2014 and initiated a "fast track to DBE certification" for firms certified as Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

         To help build capacity for these firms, the Office of Supplier Diversity partnered with Accion Louisiana and Sam’s Club to offer a series of small business seminars that focused on business development. The 3-part series titled “Grow Your Business Bootcamp” targeted the food and beverage industry, the Hispanic community, and small businesses seeking techniques and tools to market and brand their goods and/or services. More than 250 small businesses participated in the series.

         The Office of Supplier Diversity continued to connect DBE firms to other procurement opportunities through its partnerships with the Essence Festival, VA Hospital, University Medical Center, New Orleans East Hospital, Orleans Parish School Board and Magnolia Marketplace.

         In the November 2014 election, New Orleans voters approved a Charter change that institutionalized the contracting reforms that Mayor Landrieu put in place and enshrined the city’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program in the charter. The goal of the Charter is to level the playing field for small, local businesses and ensure that contracts are awarded based on what you know, not who you know.


City, New Orleans Business Alliance Continue To Execute ProsperityNOLA


         Furthering the work of the City’s 5-year strategic plan, ProsperityNOLA, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) continued to engage industry councils and host working group meetings to resolve barriers to economic growth within their clusters and accelerate attainment of ProsperityNOLA goals.

         In collaboration with The Network for Economic Opportunity and the Foundation for Louisiana, NOLABA also co-led the development of an anchor institution strategy to leverage anchors’ role as the area’s largest employers and procurers of goods and services.

         NOLABA worked with community and private sector partners to create stable, high-growth career paths for New Orleans youth with industry-specific training through Tulane’s Earn & Learn program, Delgado’s Summer Science Academy and the Recovery School District’s Jump Start program.

         In September, NOLABA launched a three-month assessment of local healthcare institutions’ procurement needs and local small businesses’ capacity to fulfill those needs with funding from JP Morgan Chase & Co.

         In October, NOLABA received $100,000 investment from LCMC Health to support further development of the BioInnovation and Health Services cluster and NOLABA’s overall work to strengthen New Orleans as the region’s economic core.

         During the ESSENCE Festival in July, NOLABA worked with partners to present the first PowerMoves.NOLA networking and pitch event, which showcased 40 of the country’s top high-growth potential minority entrepreneurs.


New Orleans Continues To Rank Highly


• In November, New Orleans ranked #7 Most Inspiring City in the World on the annual “GOOD City Index” by Good magazine. New Orleans ranked as the #1 city in the United States on the index.

• In August, New Orleans ranked as #7 for Economic Environment since the Great Recession in a financial study completed by the website WalletHub.

• In July, New Orleans was named one of the Top 10 Cities in the World by Travel + Leisure magazine. In the same poll New Orleans was named #2 in the USA.

• In June, Southern Business and Development named Greater New Orleans #2 in the U.S. South for large economic development wins over the past two decades (1994-2013).

• In May, Louis Armstrong International Airport was named the fastest growing airport in the nation in 2013, increasing 7% in passengers handled.

• In April, KPMG international accounting firm issued a report ranking New Orleans as the most economical mid-sized city for businesses in the United States.

• In April, Forbes also New Orleans #1 as America’s New Brainpower City.

Categories: Today’s Business News, Top Business News