Following Upgrade, Champions Square will become a Year-Round Concert Venue | The Times-Picayune reports that Champions Square will become a concert venue after a planned summertime upgrade. SMG, the company that manages the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the New Orleans Arena, and its promotion partners intend to present between 12 and 20 outdoor concerts annually at the Square starting in October.

While the Square has hosted several public events including a Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra performance, the New Orleans International Beer Festival and a Food Truck Food Court, the planned concerts demand the current stage to be replaced by a larger, more substantial, permanent stage. The proposed new stage would be 60 feet wide and 40 feet deep, the same size as the stage used in the New Orleans Arena. The venue’s capacity is approximately 7,000 people for a standing-room-only event, or between 4,500 and 5,000 for a seated show.


Renaissance New Orleans Arts Hotel Sells for $20M

msydt_phototour01CityBusiness reports that the  Renaissance New Orleans Arts Hotel has sold for $20 million.

Clearview Hotel Capital, a privately held company acquired the hotel at 700 Tchoupitoulas St. from a subsidiary of the Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Clearview owns or is a partner in seven hotels across the United States, including the Royal St. Charles in New Orleans.

Stirling Moves Forward with Summit Fremaux Project

CityBusiness reports that Stirling Properties is joining with national shopping mall developer CBL & Associates Properties Inc. to develop the Summit Fremaux project in Slidell. Stirling acquired the long-delayed project from Bayer Properties last fall.

Stirling announced that they will start construction within two months on a two-phase, 595,000-square-foot shopping center called Fremaux Town Center, and that a variety of national retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s and Best Buy have already signed on.


New Bar and Arcade for 601 Tchoupitoulas

The Gambit reports that Barcadia, a new bar that combines vintage arcade games, craft beers and burgers will open this month in the ground floor of a parking garage at 601 Tchoupitoulas.

Developers also are building an upscale cocktail bar called Ohm Lounge. Barcadia is expected to open in early January, with Ohm Lounge following later in the month.

Barcadia is an expansion of a concept that has two locations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Wiznia to Redevelop Stephens Garage

(rendering courtesy Wisznia Architecture + Development)

CityBusiness reports that Wiznia Architecture + Development will soon be converting the four-story Stephens Garage at 848 Carondelet St. into apartments, condominiums and retail space as part of a $34 million redevelopment.

The building, which is slated for construction early this year will be ready for residents in 2014.

Developers of Tchoupitoulas Project Letting Voters Pick the Apartment Building’s Name

The Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation (RNDC), a subsidiary of Volunteers of America, plans to redevelop a century-old cotton press on Tchoupitoulas are moving forward.

The RNDC is currently pre-leasing 52 residential units and 4,440 square feet of commercial space available. The group is also letting voters pick the name of the apartment building.

Have an idea about what it should be called? Vote now.

Plans Announced for the Redevelopment of the Carver Theater

The Times-Picayune reports that Dr. Eugene Oppman, the owner of the Carver Theater at 2101 Orleans Ave. announced that he has secured the final pieces of funding necessary to complete the $8 million renovation redevelopment project necessary to reopen the theater.

When it reopens, the Carver will seat up to 1,000 people and feature live entertainment. In addition to rehabilitating the theater, the project calls for the creation of an adjoining facility to house dressing rooms for the performers and convert 16 lots purchased by Oppman surrounding the theater into parking spaces.

Construction on this landmark that was once a cultural institution for the black community is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30.