The former Louisiana Art Works building and future home of the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute
After years of false starts, the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) is finally breaking ground on a $32 million redevelopment of former Louisiana ArtWorks building.
NOCHI will feature five teaching kitchens, a drink lab for wine and spirits programs, a retail café, separate classroom and office spaces for NOCHI and Tulane University, and an event center on the fifth floor with a showcase kitchen. The programming will include post-secondary certificate programs in Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts developed in conjunction with the Culinary Institute of America.
History of the building goes back a long way. The 93,000 square foot building was originally built for $25 million by the Arts Council of New Orleans. It was never used, and then closed in 2010. The Arts Council held a competitive bid for the space, with Ti Martin and her team winning the bid for $6.2 million in 2014. Other bidders included coworking and startup incubator Launch Pad and the Civil Rights Museum. After delays due to lack of funding, NOCHI struck a deal with the Morial Convention Center to purchase the building. Subsequently, they secured New Market Tax Credit and traditional debt financing from IBERIABANK, Enhanced Capital, Fidelity Bank, and United Fund Advisors.
“This is what the New Orleans hospitality industry has always dreamt of,” Board Co-Chair Ti Adelaide Martin said in a press release. “NOCHI is where culinary and hospitality careers will begin, where business minds will be nourished, and where we’ll teach the New Orleans brand of hospitality and fun.”
Woodward Design + Build, is the general contractor and Eskew+Dumez+Ripple is the architect.