Greater New Orleans Foundation Launches Strategic Planning Process for Spirit of Charity Innovation District

GNOF Team • July 12, 2018

Process to develop comprehensive strategy for area surrounding former Charity Hospital

NEW ORLEANS – Today, the Greater New Orleans Foundation (Foundation) announced the start of its Strategic Planning Process for the Spirit of Charity Innovation District. The Foundation will work with local experts and stakeholders to outline a comprehensive strategy that will lead to robust job growth as well as equitable and inclusive development in the neighborhood surrounding the former Charity Hospital.

In February 2018, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) released a report commissioned by the LSU Real Estate and Facilities Foundation (LSU REFF) to find an adaptive reuse for the iconic Charity Hospital building.  The ULI report called for the redevelopment of Charity Hospital and the creation of a district that encompasses the former hospital site and the surrounding neighborhoods (bounded by Poydras Street, Claiborne Avenue, Iberville Street, and Loyola Avenue).

LSU REFF invited the Foundation to lead the strategic planning process for the Spirit of Charity Innovation District and is leading a separate process to select developers for the former Charity Hospital building.

Innovation Districts are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators. The Foundation will follow the Brookings Institution’s Catalytic Development approach to ensure the redevelopment of old Charity Hospital can spur strategic growth for the many assets surrounding the former Charity Hospital building.

“Given our role as a civic and philanthropic leader that works with partners every day to create a vibrant and just region for all, we are proud to work with local stakeholders to reimagine this sacred space,” said Greater New Orleans Foundation President and CEO Andy Kopplin.  “We see this as a potential game-changer for New Orleans and the region, and we are committed to delivering a planning process that prioritizes robust community engagement as well as the identification of equitable and inclusive growth strategies.”

The Spirit of Charity Innovation District strategic planning process will include robust community engagement, research and analysis of previous plans for the area, and the creation of a comprehensive strategy that incorporates economic development with a focus on equity, land use, affordable housing, mobility, and workforce development.

This planning process will be supported by George Washington University Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis; The Data Center; JD Russell Consulting, LLC; and, Design Jones, LLC.

Design Jones, LLC, will lead collaborative public engagement that includes surveying residents, workforce, students, and commuters, as well as host stakeholder meetings, and community workshops with citywide participation. Design Jones, LLC has great experience facilitating authentic community engagement around development and most recently led the creation of the Master Plan for the Claiborne Cultural Innovation District, an area immediately adjacent to the proposed Spirit of Charity Innovation District.  The first community workshop will take place July 25 and is open to the public.  The location for this public meeting will be shared in the coming days at and through local media outlets.

The Spirit of Charity Innovation District strategy will be completed by September 15, 2018.

The Strategic Planning Process will engage the general public as well as key business, government and civic leaders.  The Foundation’s efforts are supported by partnerships with the BioDistrict New Orleans; Downtown Development District; GNO, Inc.; LSU; the New Orleans Business Alliance; and, Tulane University.