Week in Review: Landrieu’s Big Job, Intralox Expansion, Clearview Groundbreaking

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'Our work will require strong partnerships across the government and with state and local leaders, business and labor to create good-paying jobs and rebuild America for the middle class,' said former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

NEW ORLEANS — Here, from staff and wire reports, are the week’s top business stories:

President Joe Biden has chosen as supervisor of his $1 trillion infrastructure plan Mitch Landrieu, who as New Orleans mayor pushed the city into recovery after the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. Landrieu will be tasked with coordinating across federal agencies to work on roads, ports, bridges and airports, the White House said Sunday. Biden is expected to sign the infrastructure bill into law on Monday. Landrieu, 61, was formerly the Louisiana lieutenant governor and took over as mayor of New Orleans in 2010, five years after Katrina swamped the city and as the area’s recovery stalled — and as a massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico polluted the state’s coastline. He secured billions in federal funding for roads, schools parks and infrastructure, and turned New Orleans “into one of America’s great comeback stories,” the White House said in a statement. …

For the third time in four years, Louisiana-based conveyor belt manufacturer Intralox is expanding operations at its Hammond facility. This time, the company said it is more than doubling the size of its molding and assembly operations with a $60 million expansion that will create 425 direct jobs. The facility, set to be complete by the end of 2022, will bring the Hammond plant’s total footprint to more than 400,000 square feet while increasing output of modular plastic conveyor belts by 50%. Belts and components produced in Hammond are shipped to Intralox assembly facilities worldwide. “This expansion is critical to support the strong growth we’ve experienced in the last few years. With the new facility, we will rapidly increase our production and assembly capacity,” said Intralox President Edel Blanks in a press release. “We look forward to expanding our local workforce with the added benefit of meeting the increased demand of our customers around the world.” …

On Nov. 18, Atlanta-based real estate investment and property management firm Audubon hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for The Metro at Clearview luxury apartments in Metairie. Slated for completion in the summer of 2023, the 270-unit, $55 million residential project is part of larger mixed-use development at the site of the former Clearview Shopping Center. The property’s owner, Richards Clearview LLC, plans to convert the iconic shopping destination at the corner of Clearview Parkway and Veterans Boulevard into a mixed-use development called Clearview City Center that will include a hotel, a 14,000 square-foot green space for outdoor events and concerts, more than 260 upscale apartments, open-air restaurants with rooftop access and more than 100,000 square feet of commercial office space for lease. In 2020, Ochsner Health System announced plans to build a 185,000-square-foot “super clinic” in the vacant Sears building on the site. …

Security company ADT Inc. has announced an agreement to acquire Mandeville-based Sunpro Solar for $160 million in cash plus approximately 77.8 million shares of ADT common stock. ADT will rebrand Sunpro to “ADT SolarTM” and enter the rooftop solar business. “With its strong focus on the customer, Sunpro is the perfect partner for ADT and a logical extension of our ecosystem, unlocking an integrated home experience that includes security, automation, and energy management,” said Jim DeVries, ADT president and CEO in a press release. “By combining a cash-flow-positive company in the high-growth solar space with ADT’s trusted brand, national footprint, and cross-sell potential, we can expand offerings to our customers and accelerate growth for both ADT and ADT Solar.” …

The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors has selected Ruth W. Lawson to be the organization’s next president. Lawson, a Gretna resident, owns and operates several Smoothie King franchises and currently serves as the executive director of the Jefferson Parish Finance Authority. She has been a senior parish attorney and as chief administrative officer in Jefferson Parish. She was also a corporate attorney and compliance officer for Barriere Construction Company. She has a law degree and marketing degree from Louisiana State University. “We received over 100 applications and believe we have the right leader for the future of our business advocacy organization,” said Chamber Board Chairman John LeBlanc of Hibernia Bank in a press release. “Ruth brings a strong acumen to the director’s seat and will serve us well in the halls of local government and the legislature. While Hurricane Ida slowed the process, the organization was committed to a transparent and diligent search under the direction of organizational and management consulting firm SSA Consultants in Baton Rouge.” …

The Downtown Development District board of commissioners has voted to appoint Davon Barbour as the group’s president and CEO. Barbour replaces Kurt Weigle, who resigned a year ago after a long tenure at the helm. Created in 1974, the DDD is an assessment-based business improvement district that focuses on economic development, cleaning and safety. The DDD services the area bounded by Iberville Street, the Pontchartrain Expressway, Claiborne Avenue and the Mississippi River. “The Board worked closely with a national executive search firm, Winner Partners, to recruit and review candidates for the position,” said DDD Board of Commissioners Chair Gregory Curtis in a post on the DDD Facebook page. “After careful consideration of 102 candidates, as well as in-person interviews, engagement with stakeholders and public meetings with Davon, we are confident that he is the leader the DDD needs to ensure that downtown New Orleans continues and builds on the progress made over the recent years. We would like to thank John Pourciau for serving as interim president and CEO. Through John’s leadership, Downtown operations and services continued without interruption.” …

The construction firm formerly known as Palmisano has changed its name to Impetus. “We realize that the construction industry needs to evolve in order to continue its legacy of hard work and partnership,” said company founder Wesley Palmisano in a press release. “For our new identity, we searched for a name that embodies our ethos, one that is representative of forward momentum in the construction industry. Our renegade spirit is alive and well and had significant influence on how we got to our new identity. This evolution is being driven by our team and truly embodies the definition of Impetus, the force which makes things happen.” The newly rebranded company, headquartered on Tchoupitoulas Street, is growing via expansion and acquisition. It recently opened offices in Nashville and Salt Lake City. Palmisano said the name change will not impact the company’s team, trade partners or clients because its workplace culture and business philosophy will remain the same. …

Look out Hamburger Helper and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. New Orleans’ own Camellia Brand, known for its beans and other pantry staples, has announced the release of its new Camellia dinner mixes, designed to help home cooks create Louisiana-inspired meals with less fuss. The products have started rolling out this week at participating local retailers, including Rouses Markets and Zuppardo’s. They will be available online nationwide soon. “Authentic Louisiana cuisine is known worldwide for its strong flavors and delicious ingredients,” said Vince Hayward, fourth-generation owner and CEO of L.H. Hayward & Company, Camellia’s Elmwood-based parent company. “But oftentimes, the process of making dishes such as jambalaya or gumbo can be time and labor intensive. We’re excited to bring the flavors of Louisiana to kitchens across the country through our new dinner mixes. Each mix is easy to use, made with quality ingredients, and most importantly saves valuable time in the kitchen without compromising on flavor.” …

Hynes Charter Schools CEO Dr. Michelle Douglas announced that Hynes Charter School Corporation/Friends of Hynes and the University of New Orleans have executed a lease on the land for the construction of the new Hynes-UNO Campus, to be located on approximately nine acres near St. Anthony and Leon C. Simon on UNO’s campus. The new school building, housing kindergarten through eighth grade classes, is expected to be completed for the fall of 2023. “The Hynes community is so excited to have this agreement with UNO for the land to build our new state-of-the-art campus. The Hynes family is expanding and we are thrilled to have this new space for our amazing students to learn and grow,” said Douglas. …

Beau Box Commercial Real Estate has announced it represented buyer Michael Mathews in the purchase of a 15,000-square-foot shopping center located at 3900 Hwy. 22 in Mandeville. Mathews, who is the owner of The Backpacker “adventure” retail stores, plans to use 7,500 square feet of the building for his store’s third location. The property will be named Backpacker Northshore Square. “The Backpacker is excited to expand in south Louisiana and join the Mandeville community,” said Mathews in a press release. “Thanks to Matt Pittman and Beau Box we were able to identify a property that allows us to bring The Backpacker experience to the Northshore community. Our team is very excited for the opportunity to work more closely with outdoor and adventure enthusiasts in the area.” …

Louisiana Economic Development has recognized St. Bernard as the state’s newest Louisiana Development Ready Community. The parish becomes the 48th participant in the community development program, now in its 13th year. The Louisiana Development Ready Communities program helps participants prepare and become more competitive for new investment and jobs. The program guides selected communities through the creation and implementation of a strategic plan. By following its plan for multiple years, participants leverage their assets and address their particular challenges to become more competitive in attracting growth to their communities. “Community leaders and public officials in St. Bernard have participated in our program and gained knowledge and insights to better position this community for new business attraction and existing business retention,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “For communities across our state, the Louisiana Development Ready Communities program is making a difference. This program is key to building new business investments and securing quality jobs. On behalf of LED, I extend my congratulations to all St. Bernard leaders who have participated in this rigorous program, and who are now better prepared to foster economic growth in their community.”

Categories: A Week In Review, Today’s Business News