Contractors have nearly completed the demolition phase of a $70 million renovation project at the Riverwalk Marketplace in New Orleans. The facility is being renovated to accommodate a new factory outlet mall, the first of its kind to be constructed in the downtown area of a major city.
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk project is being headed by Dallas-based development company Howard Hughes Corp. Mark Bulmash, the firm’s senior vice president of development, says they are constructing an additional 50,000 sq-ft to the building to meet the needs of factory outlet retailers. To add the space, they are expanding the second level of the center by up to 90 ft in some areas.
“We're expanding the [building] to 250,000 sq-ft. Much of the expansion is on the second level and adding to the shallow space to meet the needs of today's tenants,” says Bulmash.
The Riverwalk building runs 1,700 ft along the Mississippi River with one end sitting underneath the Hilton New Orleans Riverside and the other end connecting to the entrance of the convention center via escalators. Adding to the construction challenges, the facility is sandwiched on the other sides between a busy rail line and an active cruise line wharf.
“A big challenge with this project is the location. Much of the [project] is under a hotel and we're having to coordinate and deal with multiple owners and multiple agencies,” says Bulmash.
Bulmash says contractors removed approximately 2,000 tons of debris during the demolition. The next step is to finish building the expansion and reconfigure the interior. Pilings have already been driven as deep as 115 ft on the river side which will support a base for the columns to support the addition on the second level. The first level will remain open wharf space.
The project is expected to be completed in the late-spring or early-summer of 2014.