May 29 2013

A Development for Fresh Food, Health and Wellness in New Orleans

Site of ReFresh Project

An exciting transformation is taking place on the corner of Broad and Bienville in New Orleans, Louisiana. Construction is now underway on the ReFresh project, a 60,000 square foot development that will bring fresh food access and economic development to a traditionally underserved area of New Orleans. The project is being developed by Broad Community Connections, a local nonprofit led by transportation and urban planning advocate Jeff Schwartz, and New York-based L+M Development Partners. The project’s financing is made possible through lenders and investors, as well as the New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority.

Construction at ReFresh Project

The development will be anchored by Whole Foods, which will occupy roughly half of the dilapidated grocery store building that has remained vacant since Hurricane Katrina. More than just a food retail center, the ReFresh project is designed to make a broader impact on fresh food access and community development. In addition to the Whole Foods, the ReFresh project site will also be home to:

Mirroring the collaboration of the development and finance partners, the tenants of the ReFresh project will be able to forge partnerships and benefit from their location in a development with a larger mission to promote health and vitality. In a collaborative partnership with Whole Foods, youth at Liberty’s Kitchen will be able to supply prepared foods to the Whole Foods store and take advantage of employment opportunities upon finishing their culinary training. The development may become a field trip destination for Firstline Schools’ K-12 students learning about healthy food choices, giving them access to various organizations and community space.

With a mission to broaden access to fresh food and spur economic development in the surrounding neighborhood, the ReFresh project seems poised to truly enhance the community it serves.

What projects are taking place in your city to promote the health, wellness and vitality of your communities?

Credits: Photos by Jessica Yoon. Data linked to sources.

Jessica Yoon

Jessica Yoon is a native Oregonian, currently residing in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University, where she became interested in how great places can promote both equity and prosperity. She is primarily interested in how smart planning and design initiatives, combined with inspired real estate development projects, can create wonderful urban places for people to live, work, and thrive. Jessica reports on new initiatives and urban developments in New Orleans, where a fast pace of progress raises hope for a vibrant future for the city and region. Beyond her work as a marketing professional and blogger, Jessica enjoys riding her bicycle, eating her way through the city’s food scene, and listening to economics podcasts.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 9:17 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environment, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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