According to media reports and several documents posted by the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, Dallas-based Topgolf plans to lease a section of vacant land at the intersection of Tchoupitoulas and Euterpe streets owned by the Convention Center for a new, high-tech driving range.
The Exhibition Hall Authority will be voting on a proposed 20-year lease of eight acres at a rate of $1.22 million for the first 10 years of the deal, increasing to $1.35 million in years 11 through 15 and $1.48 million through year 20. The Convention Center would build a 578-car parking garage nearby, charge $5 per car, and split the revenue with TopGolf. The Convention Center will also pave, light, maintain, and bring utilities to the site.
The TopGolf deal is in direct competition with the $29 million Drive Shack, proposed for the old Times-Picayune headquarters at 3800 Howard Ave. Drive Shack struck a deal with the city for a new redevelopment incentive that allows them to collect an additional 2 percent sales tax.
One of the developers of the proposed $550 million Omni Riverfront Hotel which would sit adjacent to the proposed TopGolf, Joe Jaeger, has pulled out of the deal in response to the Topgolf proposal. Jaeger also owns the site on which Drive Shack is to be built, and has expressed displeasure with the way in which the Convention Center board went about the Topgolf deal, including the no bid lease.
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TopGolf Riverfront Plan is Dead