River District is an awesome project that will bring a lot of positivity to the already up-and-coming area. This development will sit along the Mississippi Riverfront and include many features such as a music museum, soccer stadium, and concert venue.
The project has been in the work stages for around two and a half years due to lease negotiations with Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. “This whole process has taken a lot longer than anybody thought,” said CEO Chris Maguire of Cypress Equities, which is leading the project with local real estate developer Louis Lauricella. But, he added, “the city of New Orleans hasn’t seen a project like this in decades, and we want to get it right.”
New Orleans has not seen such a big project as this one. There is progress due to the lease agreement with Shell Oil as the anchor tenant for the complex. Top Golf will also be part of the development with construction on this starting soon.
Still, slow going is the Music and Heritage Experience museum which would be housed in a 120,000-square-foot-venue. The backed money was lost for the venture. “If we made a mistake in the last year, I’d say that it was that we didn’t talk to enough people,” he said. “We need to make the case that this is a music museum that will benefit the whole state and will pay for itself over and over.”
The soccer stadium is another stagnant project that has faced many obstacles. The project be built where a parking lot for the convention center now sits. The CEO of the convention center, Michael Sawaya does not like the idea of the soccer stadium. “I’m looking for something a little more exciting,” Sawaya said.
“What we really think makes sense there is entertainment-based retail and experiential concepts that are popping up all over the world,” Maguire said. “It’s concepts like the indoor putting, ax throwing, shuffleboard — all of those type of experiential entertainment.”