Fishman Haygood Celebrates Mid-City Market Opening

New Orleans celebrated the opening of the Mid-City Market shopping center on North Carrollton Avenue, a $40 million development project that is helping revitalize the neighborhood.

The project features over a dozen stores and restaurants in the 108,000-square-foot complex, including a 54,000-square-foot Winn-Dixie grocery store. The site had formerly been an auto dealership, but had sat vacant after Hurricane Katrina.

Fishman Haygood represented Stirling Properties, the project developer, in the deal.

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Mid-City Market Opening Celebrated by City Leaders, Draws Curious Residents

The Times-Picayune · Katherine Sayre

As city officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the opening of Mid-City Market shopping center, curious neighborhood residents scoped out the new stores on North Carrollton Avenue, including a Winn-Dixie grocery that now sits directly across the street from a Rouses Supermarket.

Sarah Wood, as she left the Winn-Dixie, said she hopes the neighborhood addition means more price competition between the groceries, and more options for local shoppers.

After the land sat unused for so long, Wood said, “I was glad that they were going to put something here.”

The $40 million Mid-City Market by Stirling Properties is now home to 14 stores and restaurants, mostly chain outlets, in the 108,000-square-foot complex. Only two store units remain unoccupied, developers said.

The anchor in the shopping complex is a 54,000-square-foot Winn-Dixie designed under the company’s new upscale-shopping concept.

On Wednesday morning, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Councilwoman Susan Guidry joined in a grand opening ceremony with Stirling Properties.

Landrieu said Mid-City is undergoing dramatic change, including City Park renovations and a coming Whole Foods store, and Mid-City Market is more proof that New Orleans is building back “better than before.”

The site was formerly the home of a Bohn Ford dealership, but it sat vacant and blighted after Hurricane Katrina.

Landrieu said the project is an example of a strong public-private partnership. “We all did this together,” he told a crowd.

Guidry said that developments like Mid-City Market are “exactly why New Orleans is climbing to the top of all the lists that we hear about.”

“With this, and the opening of Costco down the street, the Carrollton commercial corridor will be fully recovered and better than ever,” Guidry said.

Guidry said the retailers will benefit from the soon-to-be constructed Lafitte Greenway pedestrian and biking path, which will stretch behind the shopping center as it cuts through the city.

“They will see that now they will have customers who can come from nine different neighborhoods to shop here,” Guidry said. “And they can get here in an environmentally and healthy way by walking and biking.”

The other tenants in the complex include: Office Depot, Panera Bread, Verizon Wireless, Jefferson Feed Pet & Garden Center, Felipe’s Taqueria, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Ochsner Urgent Care Clinic, Pinkberry frozen yogurt, Pizza Hut, GNC and LA Nails Spa.

Joan Berenson, a former landowner in the project, told the crowd that her father owned the property before she was born, and she is nearly 83 years old. She said, she remembered as a child climbing a crane that pulled metal off railroad cars and later being allowed to pump gas at a Texaco station.

“It was completely different,” Berenson said after the ribbon-cutting. “Southern Railway had its line going through. But it served a real purpose in the community and now it’s returning to that. The wheel has come around.”

But some residents wonder how the chain stores will fit in with long-standing locally owned businesses nearby, such as the Juicy Lucy’s burger joint, Angelo Brocato’s dessert and gelato shop or the Doson Noodle House.

Richard Brown and Carly Zimmerman sipped Community Coffee as they walked across the Winn-Dixie parking lot on Wednesday morning. Brown, who lives nearby, said he likes the fact that New Orleans is proud of its many local businesses.

But the Mid-City Market store line-up feels more like a suburban Metairie shopping center, he said.

Zimmerman agreed, saying she’s concerned that if it’s a sign of things to come in the city, “it won’t feel like New Orleans any more.”

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