Week in Review, Sept. 21-25: Business ‘Scores’ and Highlights

Aptopix Saints Raiders Football
Saints fans didn’t have much to cheer about after Monday night's game but several south Louisiana businesses celebrated deals this week. (AP Photo/David Becker)

NEW ORLEANS – It was a relatively subdued week in New Orleans for more reasons than one. Despite a soaking from Beta, no major storms threatened the metro area. Saints fans were downcast after the team’s humbling Monday night loss. And the ongoing effects of the pandemic translated to quiet streets and quieter hotels, restaurants and bars. Everybody from the Audubon Institute to hospitality workers are trying to figure out how to make ends meet and hoping for some kind of relief. At the federal level, any potential aid bill is held up by the politics of the impending election. Amid all that, here in New Orleans some deals were made and some good work got done. Here, from staff and wire reports, are some of the week’s top business stories:

Big Deals

Bollinger Shipyards announced it won a contract to build a floating dry dock that will be used to construct and maintain Navy submarines. The Lockport-based company said Wednesday it landed the contract for an undisclosed amount with General Dynamics Electric Boat, The Courier reported. The dry dock will handle the Navy’s new Columbia Class ballistic missile submarines in Groton, Connecticut. “Bollinger Shipyards is pleased to expand our current relationship with Electric Boat and to play a critical role in increasing the number of U.S. built dry docks to meet the expanding need to modernize and refurbish our nation’s aging fleet,” Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon said in a news release.

Dow sold three major industrial terminals on the Gulf Coast to a new 50/50 joint venture of Royal Vopak and BlackRock’s Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Fund for $620 million. The new joint venture, named Vopak Industrial Infrastructure Americas LLC, will have a diversified set of infrastructure assets in three locations. Each is located alongside an active Dow production complex. Vopak Industrial Infrastructure Americas will enter into long-term service agreements with Dow, for storage and infrastructure services. Dow expects Vopak’s terminal expertise and capabilities will deliver additional operational efficiencies and opportunities for growth.

One Real Estate Investment – a privately owned, Miami-based real estate investment and asset management company – purchased two multifamily properties in Jefferson Parish totaling 597 units. The sale price of the 199-unit Whitney Manor and 380-unit Westchase Apartments, both located approximately three miles apart in Jefferson Parish, was a combined $45.7 million. Berkadia, a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation, secured debt and sourced an equity partner for the acquisition.

Gulf States Real Estate Companies has announced its expansion into Alabama. The company, founded by Mike Saucier, primarily operates in Louisiana and Mississippi and additionally provides project management and associated services nationally. Gulf States has teamed up with the Mobile, Ala.-based Holyfield Companies, which currently operate commercial and residential real estate offices as well as an established appraisal division. 

Association Success Corporation added CIMATRI to its family of companies dedicated to serving the association sector around the globe. CIMATRI is a provider of virtual CIO and technology strategy services for associations. Based in Washington, D.C., CIMATRI helps associations and not-for-profits across the United States by providing technology leadership, strategic planning and IT operations oversight. By joining the ASC family, CIMATRI hopes to have the resources and support needed to rapidly scale its offerings and geographic reach to ultimately serve more associations. Association Success Corporation is a family of software and service providers that aim to help associations achieve long-term, sustainable success. 

Chews and Brews

James Beard Award-Winning Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski of Link Restaurant Group have announced a partnership with Goldbelly, a platform for food e-commerce, to ship Cochon Butcher food nationwide. Now, “Le Pig Mac,” and Cochon’s esteemed muffaletta sandwich are available on Goldbelly.com. “Goldbelly is more than just an online food marketplace,” said Stryjewski. “They are helping to connect people with memories they may have from a long-ago restaurant visit or cravings for something new. It’s something that brings us all together at a time when we need to stay apart.” 

The food and beverage team that created St. Roch Market, Auction House Market and Market Supper Club are introducing Parcel, a subscription service that delivers prepared meals weekly from local chefs. Patrons purchase a subscription to a preset number of meals for delivery each week. Then, each Wednesday, they receive an email to customize that week’s selections from a revolving menu. Add-ons are available each week which include curated board games, activities for kids, cocktail kits and wine pairings.

Abita Brewing Company is adding a new brew to its annual lineup: Jockamo Juicy IPA, a double dry hopped India Pale Ale that has an intense hop flavor and aroma, will be available beginning this week at retail locations. “Our take on the IPA started over 12 years ago in 2008 when we originally released Jockamo, the first IPA crafted in Louisiana, to celebrate our rich and unique culture through the beer’s bold flavor” said David Blossman, president and CEO of Abita Brewing Company. “This new juicy style of Jockamo is an even bolder IPA, with intense hop flavors and aromas. Featuring brighter, more tropical tones, this beer pours a vivacious gold color with a distinguishing haze.”

Mojo Coffee Roasters is one of five independent roasters nationwide to take part in the new “Love Blend” initiative from Keurig, creator of those iconic single-serve coffee pods. As a show of support (and for some good PR, no doubt), Keurig hired the five to collaborate on three blends – a light, medium and dark – that are now available for preorder online. All purchases go on to support the local roasters who came together to create it. The roasters – located in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and New Orleans – met over Zoom to plan the initial blend. They had a simultaneous “cupping” on the platform as well to make modifications to their creations.

Tale of Two Parishes

According to several reports, Tracey’s Original Irish Channel Bar earned unwanted attention from the City of New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits after the bar posted video on social media showing Saints fans on site not wearing masks during Monday’s Saints-Raiders game. The city ordered Tracey’s to close until it gets approval for a new operating plan. … The Jefferson Parish Council, meanwhile, voted Monday to allow Jefferson Parish bars to reopen for on-premises alcohol sales. The council cited data showing the parish has met the reopening criteria: a two-week COVID-19 test positivity rate of less than 5%.

Airport Enhancements

Sen. Bill Cassidy today announced that the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is receiving $39 million in federal funding for taxiway construction. The sum is the total of two grants awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration. “The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is one of Louisiana’s main gateways to the rest of the world. These projects enhance the airport’s infrastructure so that it better addresses runway traffic, improving efficiency for passengers and planes,” said Cassidy.

Halpern’s Site Reborn

After housing the Halpern’s furniture store for decades, two town homes located on the 1600 block of Prytania Street have been reborn as a mix of residential and commercial units. Known as the Lizardi Townhomes, these two stucco-clad Greek Revival sister structures located in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District most recently housed Halpern’s furniture and upholstery store. Developer Montgomery Berman and Company used state and federal historic tax credits to rehabilitate the townhouses, which have a long and varied history dating back to 1838. The New Orleans architecture firm Studio BKA was selected to envision the former townhomes’ next chapter, and NFT Group was the general contractor chosen to perform the renovation work.



Categories: A Week In Review, Aviation/Travel, Dining/Entertainment, Finance, Food, Hospitality, Real Estate, Today’s Business News