One of the most exciting urban expansions in the American South over the last decade, the Warehouse District in New Orleans is now home to many of the city’s most innovative restaurants and cultural attractions.
The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center New Orleans anchors the Warehouse District along the Mississippi River, however it has never really felt entirely integrated with its surroundings. To fix that, it was announced in June that the center is going to invest $150-$200 million to develop an anchor convention hotel and entertainment district on the 47-acre plot adjacent to the facility.
When complete, the overall experience at the convention center and new community will feel more like a New Orleans’ experience, while adding even more options for group events in the immediate vicinity. Presently, there are 22,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the convention center, but this project will make that walk a little more enjoyable and convenient.
Since the convention center was first constructed in 1984, “The proposed project is the most important growth phase for the development of tourism in New Orleans,” says Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans CVB. “This is absolutely critical for us to keep pace with our major competitors around the United States.”
The New Orleans convention center project will also include beautification work, added outdoor venue space along the riverfront, and more pedestrian-friendly access to the Warehouse District. Construction is scheduled for completion in time for New Orleans’ 300-year anniversary in 2018.
Tulane University is also investing in the same area on the Riverfront. Presently under construction and scheduled to open in April next year, the Tulane River & Coastal Center is a strikingly modern research facility and event space dedicated to the protection of the marine environment in the Mississippi Basin. It will include 10,000 sf of new space and an existing 10,000-sf remodeled warehouse space.