Jan 132013

(Mid-City Market rendering provided by Stirling Properties for midcitymessenger.com)

As construction progresses toward a June opening for Mid-City Market, recent additions to the Carrollton Avenue development include a Panera Bread and an Ochsner Clinic location, officials say.

“Mid-City Market is transforming a site that has been, for too long, an eyesore on a major thoroughfare in the Mid-City neighborhood,” said District A Councilwoman Susan Guidry in an email.

A 53,000 square foot Winn Dixie grocery store anchors Mid-City Market, the 107,000 square foot development that sits on Carrollton Avenue between St. Louis Street and Bienville Street. Over 90 percent of the five-building development has been leased, said Goodman, with three spaces still available.

About half the retail spaces are going to be restaurants, including Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Felipe’s, Pinkberry, Panera Bread, Pizza Hut and Pei Wei Asian Diner. Other leases include Office Depot, an Ochsner clinic, LA Nails, and Jefferson Feed.

“It marks the full revitalization of the Carrollton corridor,” said Jordi Goodman, development associate from Stirling Properties who is managing the project.

(photo by Marta Jewson, for midcitymessenger.com)

The development sits adjacent to the Lafitte Greenway that will eventually run from Lakeview, through Mid-City via St. Louis Street, to the edge of the French Quarter.

Goodman said the original site plan centered more around Carrollton Avenue, but through collaboration with the city and other groups, the property was designed to also compliment the Greenway. Goodman noted many amenities are geared toward the Greenway, with multiple terraces, tables, and bike racks.

“The Mid-City Market development is projected to be a $35M-$38M investment into the Mid-City neighborhood,” Guidry wrote, noting the development adds 217 full-time jobs and 151 part-time jobs to the neighborhood.

Originally slated to open early this year, developers ran into a few issues. One over-budget building required a redesign and construction crews also ran into weather that caused delays. Progress is becoming more visible from Carrollton Avenue, however, as construction crews are currently raising metal-studded walls.

“We think we’ve ended up with a great project as a result of all this coordination,” said Goodman.

Tenants will have access to building space two to three months prior to the opening to outfit their storefronts.

  29 Responses to “Mid-City Market adds Panera Bread, Ochsner clinic, set to open in June”

  1. This is really going to bolster the character in Mid-City. What idiot politician let this slide? I’m a little ashamed for not being a pro-active citizen, but seriously? Pizza Hut, Panera, Pei Wei, and Five Guys. We should’ve reached out to local culinary talent. Sad.

    • Felipe’s has great food and is local. Ochsner and Jefferson Feed are hardly foreigners, Did you want a Robert’s across from Rouse’s? This story makes you sad? Geez,

      • Excited about Felipe’s for sure. Progress is great, I just don’t want it to look like any commercial block in America.

    • Why aren’t you complaining about the Papa John’s or the Dominos? Or the Subway or the Quiznos??

    • Wow, people won’t have to travel to the suburbs to go to mediocre chain restaurants anymore! I hope it at least looks less like Plano, TX than does that rendering.

    • No kidding – Jefferson Feed, Felipe’s and Ochsner are the only locally owned businesses. I sat in on a development meeting and it was like – what do you think? “I hate it – the whole idea of it – the design of it – the blight of it” – uh huh. Well this is what we are doing. SO much for community participation. This is an eyesore and I plan to frequent Rouses more than before just to make sure they don’t suffer because a Winn Dixie decided to go in right across the street – offering the same cans of Campbell soup for godsakes.

  2. Marta, spell check Ochsner. Thanks for the article.

  3. office depot, thats good.

  4. The WWL article that brought me here named only TWO residents beefing about the tenants. This property has been held hostage for too long, and remember: Winn Dixie USED to be at where the Home Depot is. I love Pizza Hut, and it’s nice to see some return to the City after the franchise fiasco a couple years ago.

    “What politicians let this slide”??? You’re kidding, right? ALL of Mid-City wants this to succeed, except for the two or three that would rather the site sit empty than have (GASP!!) national tenants.

    Great job Stirling, I can’t wait for it to open.

  5. No to mention property values around this site have SKYROCKETED.

  6. I agree that it has been vacant too long and has been an eyesore to some. Yes, Winn-Dixie was located where the Home Depot is now and yes, Felipe’s is a welcome addition to Mid-City. But be realistic: we are getting a strip mall in the heart of Mid-City. Bohn Ford started it when they built that suburban facility — or perhaps it started when Sealtest shuttered their dairy and it was converted into a modest strip mall. That is the modern trend. Adding national chains to our neighborhood does subtract from our uniqueness but we will adapt.

    I will try Panera and 5 Guys Burgers (too many chefs?), and I will hope for the best.

    • Five Guys has great fries! They post the city in Idaho where the potatoes were grown on a board each day. Give it a try, you may like it.
      Live 2 blocks from this site and am so happy they are doing this.

  7. I am excited for the new options, particularly Felipe’s and Five Guys. However, I’m disappointed that the parking maximum was waived. I live in the neighborhood and try to walk to do all my errands, but it’s pretty dangerous to cross a lot of the streets. More parking means more traffic, and I don’t see the city upgrading the pedestrian infrastructure or bumping out the curbs any time soon.

    • While I’m not excited about the bland-can-be-found-anywhere options (sans felipe’s), I agree the biggest missed opportunity here is to continue the density/street frontage of the older buildings along carrollton. With the proximity to city park, street car, and future green way, this could have been a great chance to make this area more walkable. It seems the car has won again.

  8. I am actually excited for the business mix. I will not be patronizing some, but will definitely visit others. And Panera is actually a very good addition to the neighborhood. The food is served quiclky, is actually delicious and their baked goods are tasty. They may not be culinary masters or locally owned, but a good addition to our neighborhood. We discovered Panera when we were in exile In Indiana after Katrina, and we ate there frequently.

  9. Stirling Properties could care less about keeping it local. They are well contacted to national chains and are equally as happy having McDonalds in this market as Cafe du Monde. Until people like Susan Guidry grow a spine and learn what it means to a local economy to keep its uniqueness, New Orleans will continue to go the way of Plano, Texas.

  10. There are actually benefits to bringing in national chain restaurants and businesses. The first that comes to mind is corporate philanthropy. That isn’t to say that local businesses don’t do their part. I think the New Orleans restaurant industry may be one of the most giving in the country. However, many can’t give on the scale that national chains can, which is understandable. Some of these companies have large foundations which have deep pockets, but they tend to give in communities where they have a presence.

    For anyone who’s complaining about Panera turning us into Plano, TX, are you aware that they’ve won awards for being one of the most philanthropic businesses of the year? Did you know at the end of the day they donate all unsold bread to local food/hunger organizations. And just so I’m not singling out Panera, did you know that when Starbucks, Macy’s and Verizon’s employees volunteer their time with a nonprofit, their company’s foundation matches that with an additional cash donation?

    National chains aren’t the enemy. We as locals who want to preserve the uniqueness that is New Orleans need to choose a balanced mix of which businesses we want in our city, and how we patronize them. If we’re smart, we can actually welcome national chains to help us keep this great and unique.

    • While philanthropy is nice, I think most people here are concerned about other things that have a direct impact on the day to day functions of the city. All that money being made by these chains doesn’t go to local families as would happen with a small business, it goes straight to the corporate headquarters. Also, most of these corporate businesses get tax breaks which means our city is bringing in less money for schools, infastructure, etc., money that would be coming into the city if it were local establishments. Money aside, there are much bigger, unseen issues here that you’re missing. When these big box chains come on the block, they have many more resources that allow them to bully the smaller, local competition out of business. Watch for some of those great establishments closing in the near future because they can’t compete with corporate dollars.

      More importantly, we’re talking about slowly losing the amazing culture that makes this city great. It’s the little funky places that everyone loves that gives New Orleans that indescribable character and uniqueness that brings millions of people here every year. So sure, maybe Panera will go volunteer for a day, but I’d rather see this city and it’s residents supported by businesses that are truly invested in the local community and culture.

  11. I agree with Chris. I lived in Austin, TX for 2 years and saw these kind of strip malls everywhere. I was told that Austin didn’t have many national chain strip malls in the the 90s but they slowly took over. They were everywhere. I felt like I could have been living in some town in Ohio or Arizona. This place will be the end of mid city.

  12. […] New Orleans city limits — the first of which will be a location slated to open in late May in the Mid-City Market development, said Pizza Hut operations manager Michael Moreland in a phone interview after the meeting. The […]

  13. I can only suspect that those people complaining about the presence of national retailers on Carrolton aren’t from here. New Orleans has a long history of being integrated into the national and international economy and this included, for a long time, an embrace of national retailers that can provide jobs and bargains.

    The old Carrolton shopping center housed a JC Penney’s and a Woolworths for DECADES (and Radio Shack and Big Lots and Sallys and more stores). Sears operated downtown for DECADES. One of the buildings in this development housed a TG&Y (a Dollar General predecessor) for DECADES. Even some of our local retailers had a models, like 100,000 square foot superstores that sold everything from groceries to jewelry to sporting goods to school uniforms, that would have been quite at home in any modern American city.This development is completely in character with New Orleanians that like a bargain and want a full complement of stores and restaurants available to them for the variety.

    The ACTUAL history of much of this stretch of Carrolton was characterized by industrial warehouses serviced by the train tracks we are turning into a park.

    Bringing retail that people with resources want to access means that there will be MORE traffic coming to the area to which means more opportunity for local stores in the area as people discover the area through their need for a toner cartridge.

    We have had decades of economic decline and a free and open market for any local business that wanted to open. (if our ridiculous zoning laws and meddling politicians would let them.) They could have opened at any time with a minimum of competition. They can still open. I’d be excited if they opened. There are still, according to the story 3 spaces available. Why don’t one of those folks complaining that there aren’t enough “local” businesses in this development open up a store? I’ll be happy to see you succeed.

    As a Native New Orleanian I am very excited to see investment in our area. We can’t afford a sort of sullen romanticism that holds New Orleans apart from integrating fully into the national economy. It doesn’t serve the long term survival of New Orleans or of New Orleanians in New Orleans.

    And finally, don’t mistake the current remnants of our decades of economic decline as some sort of expression of our “character”. Don’t mistake neglect for a policy. The reason you didn’t see national retailers is not because they weren’t here, or because we ‘ran them out’ but because they left because we were broke. Now they are coming back, good for them, good for us. If you want a city that is only built on a premise of antiquity you’d be better off moving into a museum. We are trying to have a future here.

    • I could not agree with your thoughts any more. The sluggish, romantic ideal of better community while years of decay are all that’s evident is not the progressive approach we should adopt.

  14. While its true to want local merchants and the ability to support local commerce, the reality that a larger commercial effort makes things happen. There are many examples to show that spurring more commerce allows for more local interests to begin and be supported. Thus making a diverse, balanced commercial community. Inner city revitalizations such as Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, NYC’s Meat Packing District, even New Orleans’ Warehouse District have all been successful projects by the efforts of local AND national interests. So lets take our heads out of the sand and realize we are simply not able to move it fast enough from blight to bright without everyone’s joining forces. I hope to support ALL if the businesses in the development AND the neighborhood, because what’s good for individual businesses is good for all.

  15. While incorporating national chains into the city can be good for the reasons stated above I think the issue with some (myself included) is that the charm and allure of neighborhoods such as the Marigny and Mid-City is their ability to remain grounded and communal. If more and more national corporations start nudging their foot in the door then its scary to think of what may happen in the future (i.e. Metairie). The site of the new strip mall is and WAS an eyesore even before the storm. If you want to corporatize New Orleans, try a big shopping center on the outskirts (like Elmwood), just not the heart of Mid City. The hope by many was an improvement upon that area, maybe a park? Local shopping destination ala Oak Street, Freret, Lakeview? Nope, just another boring strip mall.

  16. Apollo,
    As a resident of Mid-City, I am TIRED of driving to Elmwood and giving my tax dollars to Jefferson Parish. I grew up in Metairie, and I can tell you right now, one shopping center is not going to turn Mid-City into Metairie. We are excited to see this development and I have absolutely NO plans to stop frequenting the local establishments. I’m just happy that when I do need the services that will be offered by this development I no longer have to trek out to the suburbs to give the benefit of my patronage to a completely different parish. A park is a lovely suggestion, but have you noticed that we have quite a large park nearly next door? We don’t need another one. This development will help me keep my dollars and my footprint in my own neighborhood, which I consider to be a good thing.

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