The proposed $1.5 billion Trade District to de developed on a 47-acre tract of land adjacent to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center got some great news last week on the zoning front.
On Tuesday (11/8), the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to grant the project special height allowances. In particular, the Commission created a new Convention Center Height Overlay District that would allow a maximum building height of 400 feet for the area. The current MU-2 zoning only allows for a building height of 85 feet and seven stories for non-residential developments.
The request was brought forth by the convention center so that the project will have enough density to warrant the risk and investment needed for developers to move forward with the project.
Developers Darryl Berger, Joe Jaeger, and Howard Hughes Corp. have proposed a 1,200 convention center “headquarters hotel”, which would be the core of the development. The height variance was needed to fit enough rooms and meeting space at the site.
The developers also propose building 1,400 residential units including townhouses, apartments, and condos, 250,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the river, a campus for higher education and research tenants and a public tower structure for public viewing of the river.
Although the Convention Center selected the Berger-Jaeger-Hughs development group in 2015, a final deal with that group has still not yet been cemented. They are hoping to reach a deal by the end of the year.