Week in Review, Nov. 30-Dec. 4: Ochsner to Build ‘Super Clinic,’ Latter & Blum Buys Gardner Realtors
NEW ORLEANS – Here, from staff and wire reports, are the week’s top business stories:
Ochsner Health and Clearview leaders announced the development of a comprehensive healthcare destination at Clearview City Center. Known as a “super clinic” because of the breadth of healthcare services offered under one roof, the facility will feature primary and specialty care clinics, outpatient surgery, physical therapy, a drive-thru pharmacy, endoscopy suites, a “medi-spa” and more. The 185,000 square-foot facility, located in the space formerly occupied by the Sears building, will also feature a 10-bed micro-hospital to accommodate overnight stays and be equipped with technology for telemedicine. Expected to open in late 2022, the super clinic will create approximately 300 new healthcare jobs, as well as construction jobs, as the center is being built.
Real estate company Latter & Blum announced it has successfully completed the acquisition of Gardner Realtors, one of its competitors in southern Louisiana and south Mississippi. Latter & Blum and Gardner will have a combined network of more than 3,700 real estate associates. Latter & Blum said this will be the largest such firm in the Gulf South and the second largest female-led brokerage in the country. The change is also designed to enhance agents’ access to technology and marketing tools. “We are thrilled to combine forces with Gardner Realtors, a company that has built a trusted brand for decades and upheld its longstanding tradition of excellence in real estate,” said Lacey Merrick Conway, president and CEO of Latter & Blum.
Jefferson Parish leaders celebrated the ribbon cutting of the first model home built through the Jefferson Parish Neighborhood Revitalization Model Home Pilot Program in Terrytown. The program aims to improve existing housing stock, encourage the development of new desirable housing units and improve the neighborhood amenities and infrastructure in Terrytown. Spearheaded by Jefferson Parish and JEDCO, the plan was created to stimulate investment in housing stock that complements surrounding architectural styles while featuring contemporary interior and exterior designs in demand by today’s homebuyers.
Louisiana should receive its first doses of a coronavirus vaccine within weeks if the proposed drug wins federal approval as expected, and frontline hospital workers and nursing home residents and staff should be vaccinated by the early part of January, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday. The first glimpse of those vaccine details came at a briefing where Edwards was joined by Adm. Brett Giroir, the federal assistant health secretary who oversees U.S. testing operations for the Trump administration. While the details sounded promising, they rely on federal authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine — expected first for the vaccine produced by Pfizer — and a rollout of vaccine doses that will be rationed by states’ populations. “It may be May or June by the time most Americans are able to get vaccinated. But this is extremely good news, and the light is at the end of the tunnel, and it’s a very bright, positive light,” said Giroir.
Research Park Corporation is rebranding with the trade name Nexus Louisiana, accompanied by a subsequent rebrand of the Louisiana Technology Park, which will now be identified as the Nexus Louisiana Tech Park. These new brand expressions have been developed to bring greater synergy and connection between the two brands, in addition to strengthening both brands’ identities as Louisiana-based companies. The name that is now shared by both brands, Nexus, is a reflection of the organization’s role as a connector and a convening point for technology-driven entrepreneurs, community leaders, capital providers, and other ecosystem partners.
The Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonprofit government watchdog, has recommended that French Quarter residents vote against a proposition to renew a 0.2495% sales tax to pay for supplemental public safety services. The proposition would extend the tax – set to expire at the end of 2020 – for five years through 2025. It would generate an estimated $1.8 million within the French Quarter in 2021. BGR says that the City Council had not approved the administration’s proposal so key terms controlling how the City will spend and account for the tax revenue remain in flux as voters go to the polls.