Press Release

$1 Billion Multiuse Development Will Transform New Orleans Riverfront, With Counsel from Ballard Spahr

September 23, 2021

Ballard Spahr, a national law firm with a strong track record in major real estate finance and development projects, is proud to announce that the firm has been selected as counsel to the master developer of The River District, a sprawling, $1 billion project to transform the Mississippi Riverfront in New Orleans.

As lead real estate development and finance counsel to master developer River District Neighborhood Investors LLC (RDNI), Ballard Spahr’s diverse team of attorneys will support the revitalization of 27 acres of waterfront space adjacent to the Morial Convention Center New Orleans. The firm’s deeply qualified Real Estate and Finance attorneys will help lead the project through multiple phases of infrastructure development and construction of residential, office, and retail components. The firm’s multidisciplinary team draws on the talent in practices across the firm and is led on the finance side by Senior Counsel Joseph A. Fanone and Partner Steve T. Park, and on the real estate side by Partners Mark S. DePillis and Matthew N. McClure.

The River District project is being developed under the auspices of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, which selected RDNI as master developer through a competitive process. When completed, the multiphase project will comprise 2.4 million square feet of mixed-use development, including commercial and cultural space, 1,100 new residential units, 450 workforce and affordable housing units, a corporate tech and office campus, and community amenities and event space. It also will include 100,000 square feet of video mapping facades, technology that transforms interior or exterior surfaces, such as a building, into a surface for video projection to create colorful, fluid visual effects.

Construction is slated to begin in late 2022. Phase One of The River District Master Plan focuses on expanding and enhancing gathering space to revitalize the riverfront as a dynamic hub of commerce, culture, and community. This will be accomplished through a variety of facilities for entertainment, housing, arts and culture, retail food and beverage, street-front shops, public areas, and green space.

Subsequent phases will round out the remainder of the development site with a diversity of residential components and a bold corporate/tech campus.

“The River District will be the most diverse, sustainable, and dynamic fully functioning neighborhood in New Orleans, serving as a model to the world for how neighborhoods can be responsibly built from the ground up and how they should work,” RDNI said.

RDNI comprises a diverse and talented group of New Orleans professionals with extensive experience in every aspect of real estate development. RDNI’s team has deep roots in New Orleans, and includes African American and women ownership. RDNI’s technical team includes many local New Orleans businesses, including many small and emerging businesses (SEBs) and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs).

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