New Orleans, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City officials broke ground on the redevelopment of the St. Roch Market located at 2381 St. Claude Avenue. This $3.7 million project will restore the existing 8,600 square foot facility to bring it back to a pre-Katrina state with estimated completion in spring 2013. Officials also highlighted upcoming enhancements along the St. Roch Avenue neutral ground.
“For over 130 years, the St. Roch Market has stood as an important anchor along the St. Claude Avenue commercial corridor,” Mayor Landrieu said. “As one of my administration’s 100 committed capital projects, the redevelopment of this historic structure has been an absolute priority. We hope this market will once again sell fresh food and serve as a catalyst for redevelopment in this community.”
District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, “The St. Roch Market has been an anchor in this community for many years. The revitalization of this historic building is another sign of the revitalization of the neighborhood and will help to bring more economic development and investment to the area.”
City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "This has been much too long in coming and I compliment the people of St. Roch for their perseverance and patience. Thank you also to Mayor Landrieu and Councilmember Palmer for carrying this through."
Councilmember at Large Stacy Head said, “I am thrilled that the St. Roch Market is being put back into commerce and will once again be an anchor within the St. Roch community. I am especially impressed by the cohesive partnerships between the St. Roch community, the City, the State and the Federal government that were integral in bringing back this local gem.”
District A Councilmember Susan Guidry said, “I would like to thank the countless organizations that have contributed over the past several years to saving and restoring this historic public market. As it has in the past, this New Orleans treasure will again bring generations of New Orleanians together to socialize and shop for fresh seafood and produce.”
District B Councilmember Diana Bajoie said, "We must preserve those institutions that make New Orleans unique. For many decades, the St. Roch Market was not only an economic anchor for the St. Claude neighborhood, but sold and served fresh, fabulous seafood. My family enjoyed going there and I am pleased that future generations will have the same experience. Once again, our city moves forward, restoring our past while investing in our future."
District D Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said, “The St. Roch Market will be an important anchor for the entire neighborhood and will bring economic opportunity including new jobs. We are excited that the Market is coming.”
The St. Roch Market was built in 1875 as an open-air market. A renovation in 1914 fully enclosed the Market and full renovation was completed 1937 as part of Works Progress Administration efforts in New Orleans. In 1945, the City leased the Market to a private owner for use as a seafood restaurant. The building has remained vacant since Hurricane Katrina.
Repairs to the St. Roch Market will include roofing replacement, exterior masonry repair, and tuck-pointing. Complete restoration of the interior will include interior floating slab replacement, roof replacement, electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems replacement. All of the finishes and flooring in the entire facility will be replaced. The exterior doors, windows and interior doors will all be replaced. Once construction is complete, the Market will be left as a “white box” so that it can have many potential uses and be leased from the City with a preferred scope of work that includes sale of fresh seafood, produce, meats, baked goods, and prepared food that utilize fresh food products.
Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “The St. Roch Market is essential to our place-based development strategy for revitalizing St. Claude Avenue and the surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, the beautification enhancements and Art Walk along St. Roch neutral ground will benefit this entire community by connecting the St. Roch Market to St. Roch Park.”
FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office Executive Director Joe Threat said, “Today’s groundbreaking is a celebration of recovery and community. Once rebuilt, this market will resume its historical place as an integral and vibrant community asset within the St. Roch neighborhood. In doing so, it will once again provide jobs, fresh food and a place for locals to simply gather and connect with one another. Taxpayer dollars, provided through FEMA aid, have supported the rebuilding of the St. Roch Market, further progressing New Orleans’ steadfast recovery from Hurricane Katrina.”
Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development said, “More than $7.2 million in Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery funding for infrastructure and economic development has been allocated and invested in the recovery of this neighborhood, and rebuilding the St. Roch Market will be another step in restoring not only the infrastructure, but also the culture of the neighborhood. The state’s investment of $3.1 million CDBG dollars in the St. Roch Market will not only give a boost to the neighborhood, but will also aid the economic recovery of the City of New Orleans through job creation and business development.”
Current construction funding for the redevelopment of the St. Roch Market is $3.7 million coming from recovery dollars (FEMA and Disaster Community Development Block Grants). The Lathan Company will serve as the construction contractor.
Officials also took the opportunity to highlight the upcoming St. Roch Neutral Ground Art Walk. This beautification project covers six blocks of neutral ground from Marais Street to North Roman Street which will connect St. Roch Market to St. Roch Park. Landscape enhancements will include: preservation of existing live oaks, new live oak trees and low-growing plants, three new sitting plazas with artist-created benches; sidewalk patterning; new paving and additional lighting. This $370,000 project was designed to promote community pride, healthy lifestyles, and reduce blight and crime. It is being constructed in conjunction with project artist Jefre Manuel, the Arts Council of New Orleans, the Faubourg St. Roch Project, and the Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association. The City is in process of contracting Integrated Pro Services, LLC of New Orleans to complete construction.
Other improvements to the area will include approximately $1.9 million for St. Roch Park which will include repair of the pool, baseball field and facilities. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall and be completed by spring 2013. Last year, the City repaved Urquhart St. from Elysian Fields Avenue to Franklin Avenue. This $3.6 million project included replacing of subsurface utilities.
Renderings of St. Roch Market and St. Roch Neutral Ground Art Walk are attached.