2019 Non-Residential Development that Overcame Significant Obstacles
Rose Collaborative for the Arts
Developer: Alembic Community Development and Rose Community Development Corporation
Location: New Orleans
Alembic Community Development and Rose Community Development Corporation combined to redevelop three vacant, historic properties in New Orleans into the Rose Collaborative for the Arts, a 1.5-acre hub for the arts, education and entrepreneurship in the former St. Rose de Lima church building on Bayou Road and two schoolhouses. That corridor is one of the city’s oldest and most culturally significant streets, home to a range of African-American-owned storefront businesses, but the street’s most prominent property, St. Rose de Lima, sat vacant and deteriorating for 12 years after Hurricane Katrina.
Following years of planning by community leaders, the developers settled on a way to overcome the central challenge of how to reuse the church building in a way that is both community-serving and financially sustainable. Alembic and Rose Community Development Corporation converted the former religious space into a new home for Southern Rep Theatre, a performing arts hub with multiple indoor and outdoor performance areas. Meanwhile, the two former school buildings were repurposed as Parish Hall, a shared workspace for social justice nonprofits and micro-entrepreneurs as well as a community business incubator. The property also includes the early childhood through eighth-grade Waldorf School of New Orleans. The redeveloped campus now serves as a significant economic driver and another cultural destination for diverse communities on Bayou Road.
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