Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined representatives from JCH Development and Stirling Properties to celebrate the Grand Opening of Magnolia Marketplace, a 106,000-square-foot shopping center located at the intersection of South Claiborne Avenue and Toledano Street in New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood. Councilwoman-At-Large Stacy Head, a representative from Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s office and other local officials were also in attendance.
“Magnolia Marketplace is further proof that New Orleans is building back better than before. This redevelopment is creating more jobs, strengthening our local economy and giving residents more retail options right here in the heart of New Orleans,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Magnolia Marketplace is also another example of a strong public-private partnership— celebrating the new way of doing business in New Orleans. The project will nicely complement the nearby Claiborne corridor and help spur activity and redevelopment across the city.”
The project was 100% pre-leased prior to the January 2014 groundbreaking. Open tenants at Magnolia Marketplace include: T.J.Maxx, Ross Dress For Less, PetSmart, Shoe Carnival, ULTA Beauty and Raising Cane’s. Michaels will open on March 20, 2015. The initial phase of Magnolia Marketplace included a 6,000-square-foot development located at the intersection of South Claiborne Avenue and Fourth Street that opened in 2014 and now houses Capital One Bank, Subway and T-Mobile.
“This grand opening is about creating jobs, attracting national retailers, improving quality of life, building economic momentum, and turning Claiborne into a regional commercial corridor,” said Councilmember LaToya Cantrell of District B. “I am excited to celebrate the grand opening of this venture and I believe that it is a sign of future development in this city.”
“This project is evidence of the resurgence of Central City and represents yet another important step in bringing additional retail to the city,” said Townsend Underhill, senior vice president of development for Stirling Properties. “We would like to thank the City of New Orleans and Mayor Landrieu’s Administration as well as the City Council, particularly councilmembers Latoya Cantrell and Stacy Head for being supportive in yet another project that signifies Stirling’s commitment to the City of New Orleans.”
During the ceremony, Tara Hernandez, president of JCH Development, unveiled the Toledano Art Wall, a mural painted by local artists Rontherin Ratliff and his team at YAYA Inc.; Brandan “Bmike” Odums; and, Ellen Macomber. It conveys a story of many historical elements and events from the Central City neighborhood to share some of the area’s proudest moments and accomplishments.
“We are proud to bring a dynamic new retail development to an underserved portion of the city,” said Hernandez.
Magnolia Marketplace is directly south of Harmony Oaks, a 460-unit, mixed-income residential development. The Marketplace will serve one of the city’s busiest corridors, with traffic counts exceeding 70,000 cars a day. Claiborne Avenue also provides a vital connection between Uptown New Orleans and the Central Business District.
These recent commercial projects are significant in light of a 2012 report by the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) that analyzed the retail spending of Orleans Parish residents. The report estimates that Orleans Parish loses $1.9 billion in retail sales to neighboring parishes and other U.S. cities each year. Since being founded in 2011, NOLABA has focused on attracting retail and development throughout New Orleans. In addition to facilitating smooth progression of the project, NOLABA performed an independent economic analysis on the development before it began.
“Our evaluation revealed that the Magnolia Marketplace development would benefit area residents, people who travel Claiborne Avenue and the City’s general fund through increased sales taxes, particularly because it attracted new national retailers to Orleans Parish,” said Melissa Ehlinger, interim president and CEO of NOLABA. “We always look for better than average returns on public investment, for impact that reaches New Orleanians at a variety of economic levels, and for projects that enhance the city’s attractiveness to future investment. Magnolia Marketplace serves up all of these.”
For more information about Magnolia Marketplace, contact Townsend Underhill at email@example.com or 985-898-2022, or for leasing information contact Rhonda Sharkawy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-523-4481.