The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center—the sixth-largest convention center in the nation—recently held a “topping out” ceremony to celebrate a milestone in the construction of a $65 million transformation of Convention Center Boulevard, stretching from Poydras Street upriver to Henderson Street. The project, approved in May 2015 by the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, the governing board of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, will connect the expansive warehouse and arts district with the central business district and historic French Quarter by improving the out-of-town guest experience for visitors while creating new outdoor attractions for residents.
Key design elements include a tree-lined pedestrian promenade, covered terraces, outdoor event spaces, interactive water features, green walls, shaded communal gathering areas and public art. Roadways and intersections within the warehouse district will be improved as well to ease travel to and from the business district. Shuttles, taxis and ride shares will centralize in a new transportation center being developed at the foot of Calliope Streets terminating at Hall G.
The highest point of the project will be the canopy over Convention Center Boulevard where the topping out occurred. The 215-foot long canopy that ends at Hall G will cover the attendees arriving at the center by shuttle bus, ride shares and taxis.
These improvements are part of a $557 million five-year modernization plan that will transform the guest experience including re-imagined meeting rooms, restrooms and public spaces. Negotiations are already underway to develop a 1,200 room headquarters hotel connected to the center. The hotel will be surrounded with a 39-acre mixed-use project on an adjacent tract owned by the authority.
The Pedestrian Park Project is expected to be complete by late 2020.
With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space, in an entirely contiguous hall, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. A consistent Top 10 host of the largest conventions and tradeshows in the nation annually, the Convention Center is also one of the city’s “Top Workplaces.” A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, the Convention Center’s event activity has produced $85.7 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.4 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments. For more info, visit www.mccno.com.