Week in Review, Nov. 15: Bourbon Street Finished, Superdome Getting Started
New Orleans – This week marked the end of one project in the city and the beginning of a new one.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell officially cut the red ribbon marking the completion of the second phase of a $9.5 million Bourbon Street revitalization project. Since September 2018, crews have been working to improve drainage and sewer lines while adding safety lighting, security cameras and a movable bollard system (bollards are those posts they use to block cars from driving on the street). Thanks to the poor condition of the 100-year-old infrastructure below ground, the project ultimately cost three times more and took longer than expected – but quarter-goers will finally be able to enjoy smooth, brand-new streets… until the crews start tearing up St. Ann and Conti streets to do similar work.
On Thursday, the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, otherwise known as the Superdome Commission, unveiled plans for a $450 million renovation of the Superdome and announced the selection of contractor Broadmoor LLC to start the initial phase of the project. The new plan calls for the removal of the current ramp system, which will make room for new atriums along with new concourses that will provide space for vendors and end zone boxes on the field level. The first phase will be “back of house” work: creating new exits to replace the current ramps and creating a kitchen and food-service space in a current parking area. More visible work will begin at some point in 2021. The plan is to be finished in time for the 2024 Super Bowl, which will be in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, another building under the purview of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District is the “Shrine on Airline” baseball complex, which was formerly home to the Zephyrs and Baby Cakes baseball teams. No major renovation plans for that complex at the moment, but there will be a slight makeover to prepare it for it’s new tenant: the NOLA Gold rugby team announced this week that the team will move its games from a high school on the West Bank into the facility. There will be at least eight home games in 2020 as NOLA Gold tests the city’s appetite for “cannonball tackles,” “ankle taps,” “banana kicks” and other things that apparently happen during rugby games. And here’s New Orleans by the numbers this week: Fortune magazine placed French Truck Coffee 10th on the list of the country’s fastest-growing inner city businesses.
Architect magazine named New Orleans firm Trahan the top design firm in the country and EskewDumezRipple the 16th overall.
WalletHub said New Orleans is the country’s 52nd most “singles friendly” city and also somehow ranked Atlanta above New Orleans as a sports-friendly town… so you can’t believe everything you read.