The transformation of a failed arts center in New Orleans’ Warehouse District into a world-class culinary institute has finally moved forward after closing on the financing needed to redevelop the historic 93,000-square-foot, five-story building.
The New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute, or NOCHI, is now undergoing construction, The Times-Picayune reported on Jan. 3. Enhanced Capital provided critical financing for the project through the federal New Markets Tax Credits and Louisiana Historic Tax Credits programs.
This new $32 million complex, including teaching kitchens, event space and a street-level café, will provide educational programs in culinary and pastry arts as well as hospitality entrepreneurship through a partnership with Tulane University. The programs were designed for aspiring chefs seeking higher-wage jobs in their industry. Cooking and beverage seminars and classes ranging from knife skills to New Orleans cocktails will also be offered for locals and visitors alike.
“This is what the New Orleans hospitality industry has always dreamt of,” restaurateur Ti Adelaide Martin, who co-founded NOCHI, told the Picayune. According to the newspaper, the project has been years in the making.
The former owner of the building collapsed under a mountain of debt in 2011. The newly revitalized NOCHI complex is expected to open in January 2019.
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