Week in Review, April 19-23: Bollinger Buys Gulf Island Shipyard Division
NEW ORLEANS – Here, from wire and staff reports, are the week’s top business stories:
Bollinger Shipyards, a privately held designer and builder of steel military and commercial vessels, announced that it has acquired Gulf Island Fabrication’s Houma shipyard facilities, expanding Bollinger’s new construction and repair capacity. Gulf Island said the deal is worth $28.6 million. In a press release, Bollinger said the acquisition creates expanded opportunities to “better serve and deepen relationships with key defense and commercial customers with an increased capacity for new projects and footprint, access to a larger workforce skilled in steel construction, improved efficiencies and enhanced economies of scale.” Current customers for Bollinger include the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, General Dynamics-Electric Boat and non-defense and commercial customers. Gulf Island had been building towing, salvage and rescue ships for the U.S. Navy and research vessels for the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University. These projects conveyed with the transaction.
Tragedy in Gulf
The search for survivors from a capsized lift boat in the Gulf of Mexico has closed and attention turned to comforting the loved ones of the five known dead and eight missing, a grim hunt for bodies and a painstaking investigation that could take up to two years. Seven days after the Seacor Power capsized in rough waters on April 12 while it was traveling about eight miles off the Louisiana coast, the Coast Guard on Monday suspended the search and rescue operation for the eight people still missing from the vessel. All told, the search had covered 9,000 square miles (23,000 square kilometers) of waters off Louisiana.
Northshore Event Facility to Expand
The Harbor Center, an independent event facility in Slidell, said it is planning a 9,000-square-foot addition that includes a second entrance, a new lobby and five meeting rooms with new audio-visual technology and high-speed internet services. The expansion would bring the total Harbor Center meeting space to 27,000 square feet. “This expansion will attract larger regional events because it meets the benchmark criteria for many organizations seeking private meeting rooms in addition to major exhibition space,” said general manager Kathy Lowrey in a press release. “At the same time, it will provide an event experience for smaller business meetings seeking superior technology, the ambience of a corporate atmosphere, catering services and convenient free parking.”
Potential Six Flags Developer Adds Partner
Locally owned Henry Consulting and TKTMJ Inc. announced they have partnered with Dallas-based developer Hillwood in response to the City of New Orleans’ request for qualifications for the redevelopment of the Jazzland/Six Flags site in New Orleans East. The team is one of the three finalist competing for the job. In a virtual meeting on April 21, the team presented its plan to create a sports complex, an indoor/outdoor waterpark, a hotel, a logistics center and a travel center – and to redevelop the Eastover Country Club. “We see the potential this project has to become an economic engine for New Orleans East and the entire city,” said Toby Rogers, Hillwood executive vice president and market leader. “Hillwood has established an unparalleled record of success with public-private partnerships and master plan developments. We are eager to advance with Henry Consulting and TKTMJ.”
Vaccine Supply Exceeds Demand
Fewer than two weeks after officials hailed the opening of a federal mass vaccination site in Louisiana’s capital city, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday that the location isn’t seeing enough traffic from people seeking the thousands of coronavirus vaccine doses available. “Demand at that site is not what we need it to be, not what we hoped it would be,” the Democratic governor said. The acknowledgment of problems at the Baton Rouge vaccination site was the latest sign that Louisiana residents’ interest in the vaccine is subsiding, with only one-quarter of the state fully immunized from the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus.