Week in Review, Feb. 1-5: $55M Clearview Project Makes a Splash
Here, from staff and wire reports, are the week’s top business stories:
Deals and Debuts
Clearview City Center and Audubon, owners and operators of multifamily properties, have announced that The Metro at Clearview – an “upscale, five-story apartment community” – will be constructed as part of the shopping center’s mixed use redevelopment. The project will include 270 units at an average size of 925 square feet. Lease prices will range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month. The estimated total construction cost is $55 million. “Clearview City Center is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting live-work-play developments in the southern U.S., with destination health care, retail, outdoor green space and now what will become one of the most sought-after luxury apartment communities in greater New Orleans,” said Thomas Richards, Clearview City Center managing partner.
A Los Angeles-based company hopes to build a $250 million casino and resort on a waterfront site near Slidell. Casino operator Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which purchased a financially troubled Bossier City riverboat casino six years ago, wants to move its license to a new location. It said Monday it has St. Tammany Parish in its sights. The proposed development, which includes a 250-room hotel, would cover about 50 acres of a 100-acre plot of open land just off the Interstate 10 twin spans near Slidell. … P2E said it will soon launch a listening tour to gather community feedback. “We want the public involved in every step of this project because a true partnership with our neighbors is paramount to doing this right,” said Brent Stevens, the company’s chairman.
N.O.-based tech company Blue Cypress announced that it has completed the acquisition of Buzzshift, a digital ad agency and business consultancy located in Dallas. Blue Cypress, founded by “conscious capitalism” practitioner Amith Nagarajan, said it looks for the “most innovative, disruptive, and forward-thinking companies in the purpose-driven leadership world” – and the BuzzShift acquisition is an example of that philosophy at work. “We are excited by the opportunity to help BuzzShift grow,” said Nagarajan in a press release.
Technology company BENZAIT announced it will open its headquarters in New Orleans and create up to 10 new direct jobs by the close of 2021. BENZAIT provides business-to-business services focused on three key areas: data intelligence, data infrastructure, and enterprise app development. All services are offered through monthly subscriptions that allow clients to undertake reporting, development, and information management initiatives with “minimal upfront investment and high scalability.” The 10 new direct jobs are expected to provide an average annual salary of $75,000, plus benefits.
King Cake Rum
Happy Raptor Distilling (1512 Carondelet Street) has announced the release of its newest infused rum, 504King Cake. Made with 100% Louisiana molasses, 504King Cake begins as a white rum handcrafted in Happy Raptor’s Central City distillery and infused with real pecans, hand-cut orange peel, vanilla and cinnamon sticks for several days. Every bottle is filtered, bottled, and labeled by hand. 504King Cake contains no artificial ingredients, unnecessary added sweetening or syrups. “Happy Raptor Distilling is committed to creating premium infused rum inspired by our culture, our community, and the things that bring us joy,” said co-founder and CEO Mark Taliancich.”
Oil and Gas Debate
More thoughts on President Joe Biden’s actions against the fossil fuel industry:
According to one expert, executive actions like these may not be the biggest factor in deciding the future of oil and gas vs. green energy in Louisiana and elsewhere. “There are even bigger forces at play than policy. Businesses run on capital and opportunity.” … And an internationally recognized environmental law scholar says “the easiest way to make an enemy is to ask him to change.”
Meanwhile, a coalition of 13 environmental and community groups has come out against a planned $1.3 billion expansion of Shintech facilities in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes. The groups said the projects will increase cancer-causing pollution in Black communities and hinder Gov. John Bel Edwards’ efforts to reduce the state’s carbon emissions.