The co-founders of Launch Pad and their financial backers are getting in on the Louisiana ArtWorks Building bidding game. Their plans for the Lee Circle-area 93,000-square foot art complex that never came to be? "Co-working space, maker space, artist studios, public presentation of arts, large-scale event space, and a restaurant." Launch Pad co-founder, Chris Schultz, told Curbed NOLA that they want to "remain true to the original ArtWorks vision" while incorporating Launch Pad's collaborative workspace and entrepreneurial business model. "Vibrant creative space in an arts-driven building aligns with where New Orleans is headed," Schultz said. "The people that are moving here are people who want to live and work downtown, they don't have cars. This is not a service-based or tourism-based economy. It's a new economy built by our creators and artists. That's who's going to be in the building, renting space."
Launch Pad's plan also includes working with arts organizations and outreach programs through schools, offering access to the event space and equipment in the ArtWorks building, and "education programming" for career building/chasing of dreams. As for the restaurant side of things, Schultz said they haven't settled on a concept yet but they do have an advisory board of restaurateurs giving their two cents.
Because a load of public money was used for the historical renovation-turned-$25-million artfail, there does have to be an "arts-related, public purpose" use. The Lens reported that "four or five people have indicated that they plan to submit bids," but a week before the December 3 deadline, the only contenders in the spotlight are Launch Pad and the proposed culinary school plans by local restaurant owners Dickie Brennan and Ti Martin in collaboration with Delgado Community College. In what could be the speediest announcement ever, a finalist should be identified by December 11.
· Launch Pad [official site]
· ArtWorks Building coverage [Curbed NOLA]
· Listing: 725 Howard Ave. [Corp-Realty]