JEDCO, Jefferson Parish partners seeking new development ideas for Fat City
(METAIRIE, La) — Jefferson Parish and regional economic development leaders have teamed up to identify innovative development opportunities in Fat City. The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission
(JEDCO), District 5 Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken, Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc) and the Metairie Business Development District (MBDD) issued a Request for Information (RFI)
to solicit ideas from developers about best uses for public/private owned land in the burgeoning neighborhood.
Located within Metairie’s central business district and retail heart of Jefferson Parish, Fat City is home to one of the top-performing malls in the country and is adjacent to one of the highest trafficked intersections in the state. Through the Jefferson EDGE, a long-term economic development strategic plan for Jefferson Parish, Fat City was identified as a key area for growth and prosperity in 2009. Since then, the Parish revised zoning to the area, completed major infrastructure and streetscape improvements, launched a Façade Improvement Program to enhance economic viability in the neighborhood, and saw the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office construct an $8.8 million, two-story, mixed-use Sheriff’s District station. Fat City has experienced tremendous growth, revitalization and stability.
The RFI is the next step in the continued renewal and enhancement of the Fat City area. GNO, Inc. released the RFI through Faegre Drinker, a top 50 legal and consulting firm in the US. It calls for interest and qualifications from experienced development teams to design and construct a commercial, civic, or mixed-use project that meets Jefferson Parish priorities for Fat City, such as recreational pocket parks, community gathering spaces, public parking, and library space.
Appropriate uses for this site could include:
- Innovative housing (e.g. for entrepreneurs, artists, or a post-COVID-19 workforce), as a component of a mixed-use development that provides significant site activation
- Public Parking, as a component of a mixed-use development
- Destination dining experiences (e.g. food hall, rooftop dining, etc.)
- Café, coffee shop, or other meeting space targeted toward entrepreneurs and investors through curated business programming
- Co-working/hot-desk location
- Commercial, business, or retail spaces, especially incubator spaces for entrepreneurship, arts, & technology
- Civic uses (e.g. urban park, public library, cultural center, event space, public meeting/presentation rooms, business development office, community garden, dog park, etc.)
The developer would be called to work in partnership with the Parish and economic development leadership to ensure aligned interests and proper use of the site. There are multiple sites owned by Jefferson Parish entities available for development.
“Fat City has long been considered a vital economic development location for the Greater New Orleans region with tremendous potential to create jobs, investment and enhanced quality of life. With this project, we continue to position Fat City as a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and technology,“ said JEDCO President & CEO Jerry Bologna.
“Over the last decade, we’ve watched Fat City blossom into a vibrant hub for business, diverse eateries, and innovation,” said Jefferson Parish District 5 Councilwoman
Jennifer Van Vrancken. “We’re passionate about this iconic neighborhood reaching its full potential, and we feel catalytic change likely means partnering with the private sector. So we’re eager to see what fresh perspectives and creative concepts potential partners might envision for our community.”
“GNO, Inc. has been proud to support the economic and cultural revitalization of Fat City. Just over the past decade, we have seen the emergence of greater economic activity in Fat City, and throughout Jefferson Parish,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of GNO, Inc.
“This RFI will attract further investment and increase opportunities for jobs, residential, and office space.”
“We are proud and excited to participate in this regional collaboration, which will continue to breathe new life into one of the major commercial corridors in Jefferson Parish,” added Francisco Christian, MBDD
Executive Director. “We see great excitement and energy in this area as a result of many revitalization projects already underway in Fat City. The RFI and subsequent actions to identify potential developers will determine the next steps needed to keep this area growing and thriving well into the future. We look forward to the role we get to play in this progress.”
Fat City is also located in one of Jefferson Parish’s Opportunity Zones, which allows tax benefits to investors and qualified businesses as well as other stackable tax incentive
programs, including the Restoration Tax Abatement program, Enterprise Zone program, New Market Tax Credits, and more. JEDCO and GNO, Inc. recently partnered with Entergy Louisiana
to host a virtual tour of Opportunity Zones in Jefferson Parish, including Fat City. Entergy produced a video
highlighting the dynamic and diverse neighborhood.
All parties considering submission of a response must become registered Respondents by submitting the name, title, company, address, phone number, and e-mail address of a single point of contact to Mike Brink of Faegre Drinker Consulting (Mike.Brink@FaegreDrinker.com
). Responses are due Feb. 22, 2021.