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May. 21, 2013

$23M Film Studios for East NOLA; $1.6B Iberville Tremè Transformation Slowly Moves Along

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Amid recent news and speculation regarding the future of New Orleans’ status as Hollywood South – namely Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent proposal to decrease Louisiana’s film industry tax incentives – came some good news for local film production. According to The Times-Picayune, the Industrial Development Board (IDB) awarded a property tax break to a proposed film studio that is set to break ground in fall 2013.

The $28 million project, helmed by Starlight Studios, would create a mixed-use development in eastern New Orleans, in the vicinity of the Michoud Assembly Facility. The IDB will assume title to the property for a 10-year period, during which it will lease the land back to the developers in exchange for an annual pilot starting in 2014, when the project is expected to be completed. After the pilot period, the IDB will sell the 32-acre land to Starlight. The movie production facility will comprise a 30,000-square-foot office building and four sound stages totaling 96,000 square feet.

In other news, the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) and the city of New Orleans have announced a public information meeting for May 20th during which schematic designs will be reviewed for Phases I and II of the Iberville redevelopment project. The meeting seeks to provide information and receive input from the general public and other interested parties.

As previously reported on this page, the Iberville Tremè transformation project is set to undergo a massive transformation process. Valued at $1.6 billion, the project will cover a 300-square-block area bounded by Broad Street, St. Bernard Avenue, Rampart Street and Tulane Avenue. The Iberville Tremè project is a recipient of a $30.6 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative HUD grant that seeks to transform distressed neighborhoods and public assisted housing developments into vibrant mixed-income neighborhoods with adequate schools, public transportation and access to employment.

The Iberville Tremè Transformation Plan ultimately plans to create a total of 2,400 mixed-income housing units, increasing affordable housing options including both rental and owned, as well as seniors housing and housing compatible with the needs of the disabled. Other goals will include creating opportunities for quality education as well as for employment and entrepreneurship, support of cultural assets, revitalization of infrastructure, access to neighborhood services and fresh foods, removal of blight, strategic reinvestment into commercial corridors and increasing green space as well as the overall percentage of green buildings.

Image courtesy of Choice Neighborhoods New Orleans’ Facebook page

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