The French Market has taken over the closely-watched riverfront park project. The lack of operator has been one of the major criticisms of the space, which has been a city project since 2008. When completed, the large stretch will open to the public as Crescent Park.
Many residents fear that the $30 million, 1.4-mile long revitalization project will benefit tourists at the costs of residents. The Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association and the Bywater Neighborhood Association have been particularly outspoken in their opposition to the project, citing concerns over future developments, as well as parking.
French Market Corporation Board unanimously approved on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, to begin negotiating a contract for the French Market’s control of the riverfront park. The FMC’s Executive Director Jon Smith signed the Commercial Entity Agreement.
According to Mayor Mitch’s press secretary Tyler Gamble, the CEA is currently “routing through” City Hall as the FMC seeks final approval to take over the park.
The space will provide pedestrian access to the riverfront, and will consist of a number of sub-parks and recreational areas. Originally supposed to open in time for last year’s Super Bowl, the project was delayed due to a lack of operator.
“The park will grant unparalleled physical and visual access to the Mississippi River, creating an environment for locals and visitors alike to interact and enjoy new vantage points and recreational space along the River,” said Cedric Grant, New Orleans Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development.
Once the CEA becomes official, the park can officially open.
Deputy Mayor Grant's quote in this article was pulled from a previous piece.