NEW ORLEANS, LA- Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the New Orleans Business Alliance applauded the successes of the City’s economic development efforts during 2013. Throughout the year, the City attracted nationally recognized retailers and was distinguished as a hub for economic innovation and growth.
“This past year we took huge steps towards growing our economy and saw a tremendous retail boom and major business developments,” said Mayor Landrieu. “We were successful in not only bringing businesses back to New Orleans, but also utilizing public-private partnerships to help create new jobs and options for our residents and visitors. This groundwork will lead the way for a 2014 filled with even more economic growth and good news.”
Rodrick Miller, President and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, the City’s official public-private partnership for economic development, described 2013 as a remarkable year for New Orleans.
“This year we launched ProsperityNOLA, a dynamic 5-year strategic plan that introduced strategies to promote collaboration, investment, workforce, entrepreneurship that will secure the City’s economic future.” Miller said. “New Orleans is well on her way to becoming a global leader in business and a prototype for corporate investment. Under the stellar leadership of Mayor Landrieu and our business community, we are sure to have a phenomenal 2014.”
“2013 was about delivering results. Not only did we have major business attraction wins across the city, we also increased the reach and impact of our workforce development, supplier diversity and small business initiatives to ensure that the people of New Orleans have the opportunity to participate in the City’s resurgence,” said Aimee Quirk, Mayor Landrieu’s Advisor for Economic Development. “We look forward to even more progress in the coming year.”
Over the past three and a half years, the Landrieu Administration has welcomed more than 4,500 new jobs from businesses like GE Capital, Costco, Lockheed Martin, mobile game developer Gameloft, and the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Highlights of year in economic development include:
Major Business Attraction Wins
The City began the year with a groundbreaking ceremony for the historic Circle Food Store in the 7th Ward, which received $1 million in funding through the New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative. Circle Food Store is scheduled to open in January 2014.
In February, Mayor Landrieu announced a $1 million loan from the Fresh Food Retailers Initiative to Broad Community Connections for the redevelopment of the former Schwegmann’s site at Broad and Bienville streets. The 60,000 square-foot development will include a new Whole Foods Market, Liberty’s Kitchen full service café, and the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University. Whole Foods is slated to open in February 2014, creating 125 new jobs.
In March 2013, Lockheed Martin announced that it would open a liquefied natural gas project at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The project will create 166 new direct jobs with an average salary of $42,000 a year, in addition to 236 new indirect jobs.
In April, the City celebrated the WalMart ground breaking in New Orleans East at the site of the former Lakeland Medical Center. Once completed, the new store will create 300 new jobs and provide access to fresh food for the New Orleans East community. The state-of-the-art store is expected to open in mid-2014.
In July, Mayor Landrieu joined Stirling Properties to celebrate the grand opening of Mid-City Market, located at North Carrollton Avenue and Bienville Street. The 108,763 square-foot shopping center, anchored by a 54,390 square-foot Winn-Dixie, represents one the of the most significant retail developments in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. Mid-City Market is a result of over $40 million in private investment. The shopping center created over 500 new jobs in the area.
In September, the City broke ground on WalMart in Gentilly at the site of the former Gentilly Woods Shopping Mall located on Chef Menteur Highway. The store is expected to open in late 2014, creating an estimated 300 jobs.
Costco opened its first Louisiana warehouse in September at North Carrollton Avenue and Palmetto Street. The new store created 200 new jobs with 65% of them employing New Orleans residents. The global retailer is expected to generate a $21 million direct fiscal impact to the City over a 10-year period.
In September, construction began on the $200 million South Market District, a mixed-use development in downtown New Orleans. Phase I of the project, will feature 209 luxury apartments and 22,000 square- feet of retail space which is expected to finish in mid-2014.
In October, the City welcomed the announcement by the Howard Hughes Corporation that Last Call by Neiman Marcus would be a tenant in the redeveloped Riverwalk Marketplace. The $70 million redevelopment will convert the marketplace to The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and will be the nation’s first outlet center located in a downtown setting. The project will be the first New Orleans location for many of the Riverwalk Marketplace retailers.
P/Strada, a professional services company based in Kansas City, MO, announced plans in October to open an office in New Orleans.
In November, H&M, one of the world’s largest retailers known for offering fashion-forward apparel, opened its first Louisiana store and created 70 new jobs. The new 32,000 square-foot store, located in the French Quarter, features the first H&M Home in-store department in the country.
Tiffany & Co. opened its first Louisiana store at the Shops at Canal Place in November. The 3,900 square-foot store created 21 new jobs.
In 2013, the City also welcomed CVS and Big Lots stores to New Orleans East, bringing 50 new jobs to the area and a $20 million renovation to Algiers Plaza that added 100,000 square-feet of retail space.
City provides opportunities for small businesses
In June, Mayor Landrieu signed an ordinance into law to strengthen the City’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. The ordinance shaped new policies that reforms program reporting and compliance requirements, streamlines various processes and creates penalties for non-compliance.
The City’s Office of Supplier Diversity continued its work to increase the number of certified DBE businesses by certifying 103 new firms in 2013.
To help build capacity for these firms, the Office of Supplier Diversity partnered with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Delgado Community College to offer a small business seminar series. The City also issued a RFQ for technical assistance and capacity building services to expand program offerings to DBE firms in 2014.
The City has connected its DBE firms to non-city opportunities through its partnerships with the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation for Super Bowl XLVII, the 2013 Essence Festival, VA Hospital, University Medical Center, New Orleans East Hospital, Orleans Parish School Board and private construction projects with Costco, Riverwalk Marketplace and WalMart.
In 2013, DBE firms were awarded over $45.5 million in business opportunities with the City of New Orleans.
The City funded $1.5 million to 25 local small businesses through the Small Business Assistance Fund (SBAF), which was created in partnership with NewCorp, Inc. Combined, these businesses will create 90 new jobs. SBAF was made possible by $1 million in funding from the City’s Economic Development Fund, with a $1.25 million match by NewCorp, Inc.
The City’s partnership with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program has continued to thrive by graduating over 200 local, small, minority and women-owned businesses from the program since 2011.
In 2013, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development worked with the New Orleans City Council to create two new economic development districts, Midtown Algiers and South Algiers, to expand the City’s Restoration Tax Abatement (RTA) program and incentivize development in the neighborhood. Fifteen RTA contracts were finalized in 2013, including the renovation of 2016-2030 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard to the renovated Franz Building that houses The Good Work Network, small business development service provider and the redevelopment of 2203 St. Charles Avenue into the 132 room Hotel Indigo. The property had sat vacant since 2008 and was reopened in January 2013.
Collectively, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the New Orleans Business Alliance and the Office of Supplier Diversity hosted over 50 information sessions and seminars and conducted business retention surveys to 149 businesses.
City invests in workforce development and training
The City’s Office of Workforce Development, through its JOB1 Business and Career Solutions Center, assisted over 3500 new job seekers with employment and training services in 2013. The City’s job creation efforts included a focus on youth, providing jobs and career exploration opportunities for over 1477 youth ages 14-21 through the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
In May, New Orleans Works (NOW), a workforce collaboration between the City and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, announced the launch of a partnership that resulted in jobs for low-skilled workers in the healthcare field. The NOW program trained 50 low-income job seekers for medical assistant positions through a partnership with Ochsner Health System, Delgado Community College, JOB1 and Providence Community Housing.
In October, the Office of Workforce Development hosted the inaugural NOLA for LIFE Jobs & Opportunity Expo. This event was attended by over 1,000 job seekers and dozens of employers, community partners and industry professionals from across the city.
In continuous efforts to ensure access to employment for local residents, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development began implementing place-based workforce strategies in collaboration with the Office of Neighborhood Engagement in 2013. In addition to the 193 on-site hiring events held at the JOB1 Business and Career Solution Center, the office hosted employment information sessions in the community for City and private projects including Costco, Whole Foods Market, Circle Food Store, New Orleans East Hospital, the Sanchez Center and the Juvenile Justice Complex.
Airport renovations and expansions
In January, Mayor Landrieu, airport and regional officials unveiled more than $300 million in improvements to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, as part of an Airport Modernization Program that included new and bright interior with a refurbished ticket lobby, expanded concourse, improved baggage claim, remodeled restrooms, updated exterior, a new car rental facility and new retail and restaurant offerings.
Super Bowl XLVII activities were a huge success, putting New Orleans on the world stage. The airport set an all-time record, processing over 40,000 travelers. Passenger satisfaction averaged 85 percent approval ratings in 2013.
During spring 2013, the City announced plans to build a brand new, state-of-the-art airport terminal at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The announcement came less than two years after the Mayor requested the Aviation Board to undertake an in-depth and robust analysis of four proposals for the future of the Airport from its master plan. The $826 million project expects to create over 13,000 construction jobs and plans to be completed in 2018 for the 300th anniversary of New Orleans.
This year the airport set a new record, ranking #38 out of 827 airports for passenger enplanement and #39 for arrivals in U.S. airports. The Airport added four new air carriers; Frontier, Air Canada, Spirit and Vacation Express; and expanded its relationship with Southwest Airlines to increase flights by 35%. Southwest Airlines now operates a total of 114 daily flights out of New Orleans. The airport added eight new destinations, including a second direct international destination to Cancun, Mexico during summer 2013.
City launches 5-year strategic plan
In summer 2013, the New Orleans Business Alliance, in partnership with the City of New Orleans and the Economic Development Administration, launched ProsperityNOLA: A Plan to Drive Economic Growth for 2018. With input from more than 200 stakeholders from business, government, education and philanthropy, the 5-year strategic plan introduced strategies to promote collaboration, investment, workforce, entrepreneurship, equity, the repositioning of the City’s brand and international competitiveness across the 5 priority industry clusters: Advanced Manufacturing; BioInnovation and Health Sciences; Creative Digital Media; Sustainable Industries; and Transportation, Trade and Logistics.
New Orleans receives high marks