Tipitina’s Pursuing Festival Site

A development group headed by the owner of New Orleans’ famed  venue is in talks with the city to spend $12 million to transform an old riverboat casino site into an outdoor venue.

An agreement between Studio Network-Lakefront and the city’s Management Authority would allow construction of a large development that would feature the festival site, a nightclub, bars, restaurants and shops, according to the Times-Picayune. If approved, the deal would also include a 50-year lease with an option to extend the agreement another 49 years.

Terms of the agreement would see Studio Network-Lakefront paying the authority a monthly fee of $10,000 to $14,500 plus 1.15 percent of gross revenues, the paper reported.

Tipitina’s owner Roland von Kurnatowski has also agreed to spend at least $6 million the first three years to build the amphitheater, renovate the South Shore Harbor terminal and open a restaurant as part of first phase the deal. A second phase of the project would include a nightclub, recording studio, shops, bars and restaurant space, and a potential third phase could reportedly include a museum or educational facility. The Management Authority issued a request for proposals to redevelop the property, which has sat vacant since Hurricane Katrina, last year.

Studio Network-Lakefront was the lone bidder. Cornelia Ullman, director of the Management Authority, told the Times-Picayune the board hopes the development will renew interest in the surrounding neighborhood, which has struggled for years. “It brings new life to South Shore Harbor and new life to New Orleans East,” she said.