Locations - New Orleans
Known around the world for its soulful music, delicious food, cultural diversity, and laid-back party atmosphere, visitors know New Orleans is special from the moment they step foot in the city. Famous for its philosophy of laissez les bons temps rouler (“let the good times roll”) and its nickname, “The Big Easy”, New Orleans’ inviting, relaxed culture makes it one of the most exciting cities in America.
Blending French, Spanish, American, Creole, and Cajun culture, New Orleans is one of the most historically rich areas in the United States. A short walk through the city’s center could take you past modern skyscrapers in the bustling central business district, through narrow Parisian-style alleyways in the French Quarter, and along the breathtaking Mississippi River, while experiencing culture and excitement at every turn. As the birthplace of jazz music, Cajun food, the world-famous annual Mardi Gras festival, and other local traditions, New Orleans consistently ranks as one of the top tourist destinations in the US. The city’s many annual events and cultural institutions place it firmly on the American cultural map; but, its spontaneity and traditions make the city truly unique.
Located along the Mississippi River, the largest river in the US, New Orleans has been an important natural port and has served as a regional center for government for over 150 years. As one of the most frequently visited cities in the US and a regional hub for the US energy industry, federal and state courts, a major medical center, and institutions of higher education, residential space in New Orleans is in high demand.
The cultural center of the city is the famed French Quarter, where cafés line the street and tourists from around the world flock to admire its unique architecture and galleries, while enjoying its laid-back, party atmosphere. The most famous thoroughfare in the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, is packed with bars and restaurants which come alive at night. Other well-known sights in the French Quarter include Canal Street (the outer boundary of the French Quarter, and only one block from the site of The Belmont Residences), Saint Louis Cathedral, and Jackson Square, as well as Pat O’Briens and Café Du Monde.
A Sample of New Orleans’ Festivals :
January – Prospect Biennial, the premier exposition of international contemporary art in the United States
February – Mardi Gras, New Orleans’ most famous festival
April – Jazz Festival, bringing free live jazz back to its birthplace
May – New Orleans Wine and Food Experience
June – Essence Festival,
July – New Orleans Running of the Bulls, the city’s newest annual festival
September – New Orleans Seafood Festival
While The Big Easy is most famous for its party lifestyle, New Orleans is also an important business and governmental hub. It is home to much of the oil and petroleum refining industry of the United States, as well as a significant shipbuilding, logistics, shipping, and a general maritime center.
Although Hurricane Katrina significantly impacted the city, as a result of governmental aid and the hard work of hundreds of thousands of New Orleanians, much of the city’s population has returned and the economy of New Orleans has outpaced that of many other cities since the 2008 recession. The city currently benefits from a 133 mile (214 kilometer) long, USD $14.5 billion network of levees and gates to protect it against future flooding.
In the Middle of Growth: As the largest and most important city in the growing state of Louisiana, New Orleans benefits from a strong local market. In addition, its location at the mouth of the Mississippi River – the country’s most important commercial waterway – surrounded by the fast-growing states of Florida and Texas, New Orleans continues to play its traditional role in shipping, shipbuilding, and logistics industries.
Hollywood South: Supplementing this, New Orleans has become an important hub for the film industry, earning itself the nickname Hollywood South. Other creative industries, such as the music, theater, and video game industries, take advantage of the creativity that suffuses all aspects of the city, as well as low operating costs and generous tax incentives.
Tourist Magnet: New Orleans is consistently regarded as one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in the United States. With a host of world-renowned festivals, some of the country’s most famous restaurants, and the ever-popular nightlife of the French Quarter, it’s no wonder that New Orleans consistently ranks as one of the country’s top tourist destinations – attracting new developments, higher hotel room rates, and wealthier residents.
Power Presence: The petroleum industry also maintains a significant presence in New Orleans, and many multinational oil companies, including Shell and Chevron, have their regional headquarters in the area. In addition, New Orleans is a huge center for the natural gas industry, helping diversify the economy and provide high-paying jobs for residents.
Government Center: Finally, the state and federal government, with important courts and a sizable military presence, further add to the importance of the city. The US Navy maintains a significant presence in New Orleans, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is also located in the city. Their importance contributes to the dynamism and diversity of New Orleans.
- Fast Growth
New Orleans was among the fastest-growing cities in the US over the past several years
Estimates indicate the population could grow by 15% in the next 10 years – explosive growth for any US city
Startup Central, Cutting-Edge Economy
From 2008 to 2010, New Orleans’ rate of entrepreneurship was almost 30% higher than the US average
Film production and video game development, novel energy exploration techniques, and other advanced technologies have made New Orleans a crucial, high-tech part of the US economy
In 2011, 8.5 million people visited New Orleans, of which 7.5 million visited Downtown New Orleans, drawn to the city’s unique lifestyle and cultural events
New Orleans consistently ranks near the top of lists of America’s favorite cities, and is a destination for the country’s most talented and creative individuals
- Increased Wealth
Median income is higher than almost every other city in the Southeast US, including Dallas and Houston
32% of households earn at least USD $60,000 per year – higher than most other cities in the Southeast US
Downtown is the Heart of It All
Retail in downtown has a vacancy rate of 1%
Residential buildings in downtown have a vacancy rate of 3%
Downtown is home to seven major museums and cultural institutions, 200 restaurants, and billions of dollars of new investment
New Orleans has the third-lowest unemployment rate among major US metropolitan areas
Better-educated than many of the fastest-growing US cities, including Phoenix, Miami, and Las Vegas