- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - As the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center looks to develop a roughly 47-acre tract of land, one result could be a new riverfront neighborhood.

New Orleans CityBusiness reports (https://bit.ly/1GEnnFN ) the vision includes new restaurants, retail shops, a residential component and a headquarters hotel.

Last summer, the convention center solicited ideas from developers who have since proposed the plans.

Howard Hughes Corp. and local developers Darryl Berger and Joe Jaeger make up a joint team that is currently in talks with the convention center. Convention Center General Manager Bob Johnson said the facility’s board is conducting a selection process and while no formal development agreements have been signed yet, an agreement could come by the end of the year.

According to New Orleans City Business, the proposal from Howard Hughes/Berger/Jaeger includes a convention center headquarters hotel by MGM Grand with more than 1,000 rooms, more than 1,400 residential units including townhouses, apartments, condos and skylofts, a riverfront building with 250,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a cultural campus with higher education and research tenants and a tower-like structure offering views of the river.

“It’s a rare thing to have 47 acres of vacant land within the core of a city,” said Mark Bulmash, senior vice president for development at Howard Hughes. “Our goal is to create a community-conscious development that could be a seminal project for the city. It could serve as an opportunity to knit different neighborhoods together and bring more residents to the riverfront.”

The property had previously been set for additional exhibition space for the center, but plans were put on hold following Hurricane Katrina.

The Convention Center is also working with the Port of New Orleans and the city planning department to consider the potential traffic impacts in the area.

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Information from: New Orleans CityBusiness, https://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com


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