A few days after the public learn about the Convention Center’s plan to lease riverfront space to build a new TopGolf facility, the plan is now dead in the water.
Gov. John Bel Edwards killed the project Tuesday, saying that the Convention Center would not proceed with the deal. Edwards controls the Convention Center board.
The proposal called for a 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 also 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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