New Orleans entrepreneur and developer Richard Baumy and his business partner have been actively working on the property on the corner of Broad and Bienville following their purchase of the space in 2014. The site is catty-corner from the Project Refresh development, which includes Whole Foods, Liberty’s Kitchen, and various offices.
The BaumTech team started acquiring commercial properties several years ago primarily to open new restaurants, until they saw the Broad and Bienville property was up for grabs. This is their first ground-up development site.
“The new Whole Foods across the street and the nearby UMC and VA Hospitals made this a no brainer for us,” said Baumy.
The previous owner was unable to get a permit for a gas station when he started building out five parcels that were potentially going to be a convenience store, tire shop, and car lot before he decided to sell.
Baumy and his partner originally had a ground lease signed with a local Taco Bell franchisee, but changed their direction when there was push back from the neighborhood and city government. BaumTech worked with Jeffrey Schwartz from Broad Community Connections and Council member LaToya Cantrell to develop a new concept.
The property will be approximately 7,800 square feet and be divided into four units. “This is not your average New Orleans strip mall,” Baumy told Canal Street Beat. “We worked with our architects to design something that will really improve the appearance of the neighborhood.”
The developers listed the property with Lauricella & Associates just over a month ago, and are asking $25-28 per square foot in rent. There has been a lot of interest so far but the team is being selective. Their ideal tenant complements the Whole Foods across the street and caters to the growing millennial population in the area. “I’d definitely like to see a QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) concept as our anchor. A coffee shop and juice bar would be great additions to the neighborhood too,” said Baumy.
Baumy hopes the development will spark additional investment in the area.
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