Week in Review, June 13-17: Parish Line, NOPD, Loyola and More
NEW ORLEANS — Here, from staff and wire reports, are the week’s top business stories:
601 Metairie Road will soon be home to Parish Line Bistro Bar. The new venture was created by hospitality industry veteran Mickey Parenton, New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis, Fat Boy’s Pizza owner Gabe Corchiani and John Georges, owner of The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate, Galatoire’s and other businesses. The partners are taking over a space that housed Metry Cafe & Bar for decades. “We’ve wanted to team up on something like this for many years,” said Corchiani in a press release. “The goal is a place that our wives and friends would enjoy — something that’s cutting edge and comfortable.”
Warby Parker, the New York City-based retailer of prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses, will open its second store in Louisiana and first in Metairie on Saturday, June 18 at Lakeside Shopping Center. The retailer said the new store will offer a full assortment of sun and optical offerings, including the new Summer Escape collections, and contacts. Artist Trey Bryan created custom artwork for the store.
Joseph C. Canizaro has committed a gift of $5 million to Loyola University New Orleans to establish and fund the new Canizaro Center for Catholic Studies at Loyola. Canizaro has been a Loyola supporter and a leading Catholic philanthropist in the Gulf South for decades. The Canizaro Center for Catholic Studies is designed to position Loyola as a leader in Catholic studies in the United States and on an international level. An endowed fund will support the hiring of new faculty and staff, grow resources for students (such as retreats, international service pilgrimages, and high school student faith development programs), educate K-12 Catholic elementary teachers, and provide scholarships for Loyola students to study abroad in Rome.
Arbor Renewable Gas LLC, a Houston-based company formed in 2019 that produces renewable gasoline and green hydrogen from wood waste and forest residue, is evaluating West Baton Rouge Parish for a planned $800 million manufacturing and distribution facility employing carbon capture and sequestration emissions-reduction technology. Operating as Magnolia Renewable Fuels LLC, the new facility would produce renewable gasoline from wood waste biomass sourced from Louisiana and Mississippi timber operations. The project would create 32 new direct jobs with average annual salaries of $99,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would also support at least 110 indirect jobs, for a total of 142 new jobs in Louisiana’s Capital Region. The company estimates development of the facility would generate up to 880 construction jobs at peak construction.
Citizen satisfaction with the New Orleans Police Department fell to its lowest point since 2009 according to this year’s annual NOPD Citizen Perception survey conducted by the New Orleans Crime Coalition. Despite the drop in satisfaction ratings, results show heavy majorities of residents support more resources and tools for the NOPD and its police officers to reduce crime in the city. The survey, conducted by Faucheux Strategies from June 1-6, is designed to track trends over time in how New Orleans residents view the NOPD. The study is based on a representative sample of 800 adult residents of New Orleans with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
Complete Logistical Services, a staffing agency specializing in maritime and commercial construction jobs, has announced that it will be expanding its St. Bernard Parish office space. Construction on the new building will start this month and is expected to take a year to complete. It will include a 10,000-square-foot building directly across the street from the company’s current office on Lafitte Court in Chalmette. On June 16, the company’s team gathered with officials from St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce and St. Bernard Economic Development to break ground. “St. Bernard Parish is the fastest growing parish in the state,” said Spencer Sens, the company’s CEO and a Chalmette native. “We are proud to be a part of that.”
After five decades of leadership in architecture, interiors, branding and planning, Gould Evans is now Multistudio – an impact-focused, multidisciplinary design practice that embraces interconnectedness and celebrates collaborative possibility. Gould Evans’ rebrand as Multistudio reinforces its commitment to building a culture that seeks diverse perspectives, promotes multidisciplinary collaboration and uses design to positively impact the communities and clients they serve. The name change results from discernment of how the studio has evolved and what it aspires to become as a socially responsible design collective.
Bridging the digital divide has become a priority for Louisiana since the COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the crucial role high-speed internet plays in the state’s education and economic systems. Using federal funds, the state launched a $180 million program last year to provide underserved areas with high-speed internet. In March the Acadiana area welcomed Vice President Kamala Harris to Ville Platte to announce another $30 million federal grant to build fiber internet across 11 rural towns in the area.
Fans of the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience will have to wait a bit longer before the festival returns to New Orleans. On Friday, organizers confirmed in an announcement on social media and the festival’s website that the event won’t happen this year, calling it a “pause.” New Orleans’ major spring festivals – the Jazz & Heritage Festival, the French Quarter Festival and the BUKU Music + Art Project – all returned in 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Essence Festival of Culture is set for an in-person comeback the first weekend in July.