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DDD to Honor This Year’s Downtown New Orleans Virtuosos

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Ceremony exalts five finalists who have renewed and enriched the Downtown New Orleans neighborhood.

DDDmay2016In an effort to show appreciation for the people, businesses and organizations who have made great strides in the ongoing transformation, enrichment and success of Downtown New Orleans, the Downtown Development District created the Downtown NOLA Awards. This year, the DDD will celebrate the five finalists during a luncheon awards ceremony held at the JW Marriott on Canal Street Sept. 16. The honorees are as follows:

Ace Hotel
The Portland, Oregon-based hotel group recently brought its innovative hospitality concept to Downtown New Orleans, renovating a long-unoccupied 1920s Art Deco-style building that once housed Barnett’s Furniture. After almost four decades of standing largely unused, the Ace Hotel opened a 234-room boutique hotel designed to highlight the historic architecture, while including modern elements that appeal to Millennial sensibilities. The 25,000-square-foot space includes the New Orleans-inspired osteria Josephine Estelle, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the rooftop garden/gastropub Alto, a French-Deco inspired lobby bar and, launching this month, a brand new oyster bar dubbed Seaworthy.

Brenda Canada/New Orleans Business Alliance
As Vice President of Retail Attraction, Development and Strategy of the New Orleans Business Alliance, Brenda Canada has been instrumental in the growth of city-wide retail development, but she is being honored specifically for her role in attracting new, national retail chains to the Downtown area. Additionally, Canada also played a large part in the development of The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, the first metropolitan outlet mall in the country.

Chris Reade/LookFar
President and founder of New Orleans-based “idea acceleration” company LookFar, Chris Reade created a successful Downtown technology business that offers competitive pricing on custom applications and software for burgeoning New Orleans entrepreneurs. Reade relocated his business from New Jersey shortly before Hurricane Katrina, and, over the years, has directed and morphed the company, keeping pace with a changing industry, into one of the city’s leading technology companies.

The Orpheum Theater
The glorious Beaux Arts theater built in 1918 had stood empty and broken since Hurricane Katrina, but, in 2015, the Orpheum was restored and re-opened retaining all of its former majesty. The space that once played host to silent films and vaudeville acts now offers everything from timeless performances by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and classic films to concerts featuring both national and local musicians. The theater is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month since reopening last August.

The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk
Hailed as the country’s first urban outlet mall, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk came into being after The Howard Hughes Corporation invested $80 million to transform the Riverwalk into a shopping paradise more than two years ago. Tens of thousands of shoppers visited the mall on its opening weekend, resulting in better-than-expected sales from at least 90 percent of the mall’s retail occupants. The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is home to many national retailers who are new to the region including Neiman Marcus, Last Call Studio, Coach, Tommy Bahama Outlet and, coming this fall, Nordstrom Rack.