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Crunching Numbers on the Former Artworks Bldg. Makeover

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How much dough will it take to turn the former Louisiana ArtWorks Building into the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute? About $18 million. It was announced this week that the 93,000-square-foot structure in the CBD, an art complex that never got off the ground, will go to NOCHI for $6.2 million and they have 60 days to close the sale. So, where's the money coming from? Delgado Community College, one of the NOCHI partners, is pitching in $9 million and $7.2 million will come from a First NBC loan. Historic and new market tax credits should even things out. Part of the makeover will involve clearing out the plethora of art-making equipment. According to The Times-Pic, the Arts Council of New Orleans will take it off NOCHI's hands and make it available to schools. Besides the culinary school aspect, down-the-road plans include creating a TV station called "What's Cooking NOLA" (paging Emeril Lagasse) and promoting Gulf seafood distribution.
Launch Pad, one of the other contenders for the building, offered $6.2 million, which led to NOCHI raising its original $5.1 million bid. The Lens reports that Mayor Mitch Landrieu "wouldn't approve the deal unless the culinary institute matched Launch Pad's $6.2 million offer." The other group in the competition, the Louisiana Civil Rights Museum team, bid $8.2 million and apparently are "going to ask some questions" about why their highest bid wasn't the chosen one.
· ArtWorks Building coverage [Curbed NOLA]
· Louisiana Artworks building's conversion into culinary and hospitality institute will cost $18 million [NOLA.com]
· Louisiana Civil Rights Museum would have paid $2 million more for ArtWorks building [The Lens]