By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
Louisiana-based Stirling Properties officially opened the Mid-City Market, an urban infill shopping center located on the corner of North Carrollton Avenue and Bienvielle Street in the historic New Orleans neighborhood of Mid-City.
The 108,763-square-foot shopping center is Stirling Properties’ largest ground-up retail development in the Crescent City. Anchored by a 54,390-square-foot Winn-Dixie, the adaptive reuse shopping center brings much needed retail to the area, as well as an excess of 500 new jobs. Among new tenants already opened to the public are Winn-Dixie, Office Depot, Panera Bread and Pizza Hut, while Verizon Wireless, Pinkberry, Felipe’s Taqueria and Ochsner Urgent Care Clinic are some of the businesses that will soon open at the location. As previously reported on this page, around 80 percent of the property was pre-leased when construction kicked off.
Although the project broke ground in March 2012, according to Townsend Underhill, senior vice president of development, the company had been pursuing the project for almost four years. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared, “Mid-City Market is proof that New Orleans is building back better than before. This project took once blighted and vacant properties and transformed them into a retail and restaurant hub for the community. It’s another example of a strong public-private partnership delivering new jobs, new tax revenue and new energy to this important corridor.” Prior to the launch of Stirling Properties’ project, the 6.5-acre site was in an advanced stage of blight, suffering extensive damage during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as well as due to neglect, having been abandoned by its former owners. While the former Bohn Ford dealership building was demolished and replaced by the Winn-Dixie, the former Harry’s Ace Hardware building was renovated and given a new life.
Construction was executed by Donahue Favret Contractors Inc., while the contextual urban and adaptive architecture design was handled by Mid-City-based VergesRome Architects. The project boasts extensive pedestrian-friendly features, such as terraced outdoor seating, pedestrian plazas, benches, bike racks and native landscaping, which will ensure the shopping center will complement the nearby Lafitte Greenway, a 3.1-mile-long pedestrian and bicycle pathway and linear park, set to begin development later in the year. A former shipping canal and railway that once connected the French Quarter to Bayou St. John, the project aims to created publicly accessible open space, recreational areas, bike paths and various other amenities and connect neighborhoods along its way.
Mid-City Market is the culmination of more than $40 million in private investments and represents not just a significant and much-needed retail and restaurant hub for New Orleans and the Mid-City neighborhood, but is also another victory over the destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina.
Mid-City Market was developed by Stirling Properties and will also be managed and leased by the company.
Image courtesy of Stirling Properties