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Tulane University signs lease to occupy one-third of a renovated Charity Hospital building

Tulane University announced Monday (Nov. 29) it has signed a long-term lease to occupy more...
Tulane University announced Monday (Nov. 29) it has signed a long-term lease to occupy more than a third of the former Charity Hospital's 1 million square feet.(Tulane University photo)
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 1:00 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2021 at 10:57 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Tulane University announced Monday (Nov. 29) it has signed a long-term lease to occupy more than a third of the former Charity Hospital building in downtown New Orleans, spurring redevelopment for a Tulane Avenue landmark that has sat unoccupied since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But Tulane said the Charity project is a “central component of a major expansion of Tulane’s downtown campus in the heart of the city’s biomedical corridor.”

Over the next few years, Tulane said it will work with developers to transform the decaying building into a refurbished mixed-use complex featuring apartments, retail outlets, educational institutions and other uses, anchored by the university’s academic and research presence.

The building, originally finished in 1938, features 1 million square feet of space. Tulane initially plans to occupy nearly 350,000 square feet, filling its portion of the complex with research, teaching and administration spaces.

“Developing the building in a way that is true to the roots and spirit of the historic former Charity Hospital has been a guiding principle for Tulane University since this project’s inception,” Tulane Chief Operating Officer Patrick Norton said in a statement.

“By ensuring this redevelopment is anchored by research labs searching for the newest discoveries and by public health and medical classrooms training the next generation of physicians and leaders in public health and health care -- all in a space that is accessible and open to the community -- we will remain true to those roots.”

The project developers -- 1532 Tulane Partners and SKK Opportunity Zone Fund I, LLC -- will spend the next 2 1/2 years completing base building construction before Tulane develops and customizes its space. The university said it hopes to occupy its portion of the building sometime in 2025.

Tulane said “special care” will be taken to preserve Charity’s art deco facade, main lobby, second-floor auditorium and other historical characteristics of the building, while “fully renovating the interior to realize the full potential of the building in a new way.”

Yoel Shargian and Joseph Stebbins formed 1532 Tulane Partners in 2018. SKK was co-founded by David Shepherd in partnership with Brian Lockhart.

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