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New Orleans mayor announces 7 new riverfront developments and improvements

From the upcoming Four Seasons hotel to improved public park space

Today, at a press conference held on the riverfront, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced seven developments that will take place in the 3.2 miles stretch of the riverfront between the Spanish Plaza and Crescent Park, which will include:

  • $7.5 million renovation for the Spanish Plaza
  • $400 million Four Seasons hotel
  • A new $37 million Canal Street Ferry Terminal
  • $6 million in Woldenberg Riverfront Park improvements
  • $3 million in Moonwalk Park renovations
  • A $15 million conversion of the Esplanade and Governor Nicholls Street Wharves
  • And $31.2 million renovations at Crescent Park

“New Orleans will now be home to one of the largest contiguous riverfront parks in the U.S. which is a huge win for every resident and visitor of our city,” says Mayor Mitch Landrieu in an official release. “This important step builds on the legacy of other great City leaders that opened up the riverfront and will spur economic development.”

Spanish Plaza Renovations

Rendering of a renovated Spanish Plaza.
via City of New Orleans/Designed by Dana Brown & Associates

The $7.5 million renovation will include new walking surfaces, upgrades to the current fountain, trees, lights, and additional seating. The Office says the original Spanish tile, dedicated to the City of New Orleans by the Spain in 1976, will be retained along with the interior of the center fountain. The Convention Center Authority will fund $6.2 million for the renovation. The New Orleans Building Corporation, which is commissioned by the City of New Orleans to manage public property, will provide the remaining $1.3 million. The Mayor’s Office says construction is underway and expects it to be complete by April of 2018.

Four Seasons Hotel

The upcoming Four Seasons Hotel will be completed in 2020.
via City of New Orleans/Designed by Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.

Earlier this year, the New Orleans Four Seasons Hotel and Residences announced it would invest $400 million to renovate the old World Trade Center. Expected to be complete by the first quarter in 2020, the 34-story building will have over 350 rooms on the lower floors, and 65 luxury condominiums on the upper floors. The developer also plan for the hotel to house a large cultural attraction center—including exhibits and a theater—on its second floor, which will be open to the public. Construction of this new powerhouse hotel will take place at the end of 2017.

New Canal Street Ferry Terminal

The new Canal Street Ferry Terminal will cost $37 million.
via City of New Orleans/Designed by Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.

The upcoming terminal will have a connection from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Plaza and the Canal Street Wharf. Expected to cost $37 million, it will be funded by federal grants ($23.9 million), the City of New Orleans Land Match ($4.7 million), the State of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development ($264,856), and the Regional Transit Authority ($8 million). Designed by Manning Architects, demolition of the existing ferry terminal will take place in January of 2018. The Mayor’s Office plans for the new terminal to be complete by April of 2019.

Using city capital funds and proceeds from the New Orleans Building Corporation’s Canal Street Improvements Bond, the mayor announced a separate $7.3 million bridge that will allow pedestrians to safely cross the railroad tracks to the new terminal near the riverfront.

Moonwalk Pedestrian Pathway Renovations

Earlier this year, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the Riverwalk promenade space between St. Peter and St. Philip streets will undergo $3 million renovation, funded by the French Market Corporation. Developments include new walking surface, upgraded lighting, and better connection from the city to the river. The Mayor’s Office did not announce a completion date.

So far, the Office has not released specific details about developments happening at the Esplanade and Governor Nicholas wharfs during its conversion—a deal that the Port of New Orleans just approved yesterday, October 26. The Mayor says the converted wharfs will be used as public parks.

The Mayor’s Office also reports that “The Port is working with various hospitality partners to facilitate efforts to secure up to $15 million to convert the wharves into public park spaces.”