Redeveloping the Broad Street – Washington Avenue Corridor

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor Redevelopment, revitalization, rebuilding are the three big Rs of the Crescent City, and with the many scars left behind by Katrina, it’s no wonder. And areas with thousands upon thousands of lots left blighted and abandoned still offer plenty of opportunities for those willing to rebuild and bring back life to [...]

Redevelopment, revitalization, rebuilding are the three big Rs of the Crescent City, and with the many scars left behind by Katrina, it’s no wonder. And areas with thousands upon thousands of lots left blighted and abandoned still offer plenty of opportunities for those willing to rebuild and bring back life to communities left behind.

That is the case with a new public-private partnership, the $8.7 million Broadmoor revitalization project intended to revive the former commercial hub at the intersection of Washington Avenue and South Broad Street in a two-phase plan.

According to The Times-Picayune, the first phase of the project, started on April 25, entails renovating four buildings. At a cost of $2.1 million, the four decaying buildings will be converted into storefronts and offices for community groups and entrepreneurs, as well as a health clinic. The 28,400 square feet of commercial space thus created will be anchored by the South Broad Community Health Clinic’s 4,300 square feet. The other buildings will have long-term tenants such as Green Coast, with 8,900 square feet of leased office and retail space, and HUB New Orleans, leasing 10,500 square feet of office and workshop space. Global Green’s NOLA Wise project, the Broadmoor Improvement Association, the Broadmoor Community Development Corp. and Laurel Street Bakery will lease a further 4,700 square feet at the site.

Phase two is expected to start in a few weeks’ time and will encompass redevelopment of the former Bohn Ford building at 2700 South Broad St. The building will be renamed the Rhodes Business Center, after the private investors, the Rhodes family. The historic building will be redeveloped into 27,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space. The Rhodes family will relocate a percentage of its corporate offices to the building and will open a grief counseling center, as well as a small museum about Drainage Pump Station No.1, located near the site.

The project is financed mainly by the private partner, with the state Project-Based Recovery Opportunity Program providing $1.5 million and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority providing $750,000.

The project is expected to be complete in six months.

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Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Schwartz via Wikimedia Commons