The Launchpad co-founders are planning to bid on the Louisiana ArtWorks building, a $25 million facility for artist studios and galleries that failed in 2011.
Their plans for the Lee Circle-area 93,000-square foot art complex include a co-working space, maker space, artist studios, public presentation of arts, large-scale event space, and a restaurant.” Co-founder Chris Schultz told Curbed NOLA that they want to “remain true to the original ArtWorks vision” while incorporating Launch Pad’s collaborative workspace and entrepreneurial business model. “Vibrant creative space in an arts-driven building aligns with where New Orleans is headed,” Schultz said. “The people that are moving here are people who want to live and work downtown, they don’t have cars. This is not a service-based or tourism-based economy. It’s a new economy built by our creators and artists. That’s who’s going to be in the building, renting space.”
Schultz, Will Donaldson, and Barre Tanguis, founded Launch Pad in 2009 to act as a catalyst for the New Orleans’ emerging start-up ecosystem. Launchpad currently leases 12,000 square feet at the IP Building and offers temporary office and desk space to start-ups. They currently have about 75 individuals or small companies — a total of 170 people — in Launch Pad space.
The other contender that has publicly come forward for the Artworks building includes a group led by Dickie Brennan, Ti Martin, and Delgado Community College, who allegedly plan to turn the building to a culinary incubator.