Convention Center purchases former Louisiana ArtWorks building, forms partnership to build new culinary school

Posted on: February 7 2017

By: Andrew Valenti, Reporter New Orleans CityBusiness

The board of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has acquired the former Louisiana ArtWorks building in the Warehouse District and entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement with an organization that plans to open a culinary school at the location.

The Convention Center closed on a deal to acquire the 93,000-square-foot structure at 725 Howard Ave. for $12 million from the New Orleans Culinary and Hospital Institute, according to city conveyance records. The property is bounded by Carondelet and St. Joseph Street and St. Charles and Howard Avenue and is a block from Lee Circle.

Land records also indicate that the cash sale was recorded on Jan. 31. The institute is backed by a group of local restauranteurs including John Besh, Dickie Brennan and Ti Martin of Commander’s Palace.

The 40-year lease agreement with NOCHI calls for a portion of the purchase price to be set aside for leasehold improvements and for the institute to provide for the full construction and ongoing maintenance of the facility as well as to maintain consistent annual enrollment across all its vocational training and development programs, according to a news release.

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