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The 10 best NOLA developments completed in 2017

From schoolyards to music playgrounds

All photos by Eric Craig/Curbed NOLA

New Orleans has had several new developments in 2017, from a water absorbent school yard to a one-of-a-kind hotel in Freret. Sometimes, it can be hard to keep track of them all.

This year, Curbed NOLA has gathered its 10 favorite developments that have opened in New Orleans in 2017. If you want to keep track of developments planned to open in 2018, check out our active construction map.

Student-designed schoolyard

Paul Habans Charter School’s new play space is designed with storm-water management in mind
Photo by Eric Craig/Curbed NOLA

It’s not everyday that students have a hand in creating their own play space. In November of 2017, The Trust For Public Land partnered with City of New Orleans and Crescent City School to redesign the Paul Habans Charter School’s play area. Before the redesign, the students’ playground would flood after heavy rain. The new $350,000 schoolyard has a slide, club house, monkey bars, hammocks, and a lion statue. It also captures 1.25 inches of first rainfall. TPL will continue to work with the charter school to help develop the school’s remaining six acres of undeveloped land.

What You Give Will Grow FitLot

Content courtesy of Adam Mejerson, FitLot

This year started off with Fitlot’s completion of its 1,000-square-foot outdoor fitness center on the Lafitte Greenway. The new center, which opened in January, has several resistance stations and holds free workout classes.

The Green Project

Photo by Kelsey Campion

The Bywater’s local creative reuse nonprofit, the Green Project, partnered with the Preservation Resource Center’s Salvage Store to expand the Project’s store space. After the expansion, the 18,000-square-foot facility is now to 28,000 square feet.

Dave & Buster’s

Dave & Buster’s New Orleans locations officially opens on Monday, May 22.
Eric Craig/Curbed NOLA

We have waited for this new Central Business District attraction for the past year. This May, we explored the 40,000-square-foot venue, which has a sports bar, two event rooms, and 150 arcade games.

Bourbon Street

While construction work on this iconic street has been delayed, there’s nothing like a freshly paved street in New Orleans. Recently, the City has completed construction between the 100 and 800 blocks of Bourbon Street, and added new movable bollards to control traffic during events with heavy pedestrian traffic.

Blue Bikes

115 of the planned 700 Bicycles are ready for use around New Orleans, according to city officials.
Photo by Eric Craig/Curbed NOLA

After two years of planning, the City began its first stage of rolling out its new bike-share program. By the end of 2018, New Orleans will have 70 stations and over 700 bicycles. Check out the map of planned stations here.


via NOLA Ready Streetwise

This year has also been a crazy year for weather in New Orleans. In February, a tornado devastated part of New Orleans East. In August, New Orleans has a unique rainstorm that flooded several neighborhood. While not a physical development, the City of New Orleans’s office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has created an applications based on Geographic Information Systems to warn residents of flooded streets during harsh weather. The Office also uses the same system to track catch basins that need to be cleaned or reported broken.

Oretha Castle Haley corridor

Photo via City of New Orleans Roadwork

The City of New Orleans just completed a major streetscape project in Central City’s historic corridor, adding a new bike lane and replacing worn asphalt and sidewalks. The beautiful streets holds several local organizations, include the Ashe Cultural Arts Center and the New Orleans Jazz Market. Earlier this year, corridor leaders had a chance to showcase the new street during the annual Jane Jacobs Walk.

Alder Hotel

The Alder Hotel sits on the corner of Magnolia and Cadiz streets in Freret.
All photos by Eric Craig/Curbed NOLA

While developers are proposing hotels across the city, the Freret neighborhood just got its first hotel in September. This restored building sits on Magnolia Street, two blocks from the Freret Street corridor. Standing 10 stories tall it holds 90 rooms. Built in 1964, Southern Baptist hospital used the original tower to house physicians, nurses, and staff.

Music Playground

The Hangout at the Lower 9th Ward Market.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Swanson/The Urban Conga

Burnell Cotlon, owner of the Lower 9th Ward Market, has expanded his store in the neighborhood over the past three years. His newest completed project is a music playground called The Hangout. The public interactive art and sound installation developed by Urban Conga sits just behind the market.

Didn’t see your favorite developments on our list? Drop a comment below.