Sidney Torres IV, the once high-profile owner of a local garbage collection company, announced Thursday that he has purchased the 134-year-old New Orleans Board of Trade building on Magazine Street.
Torres and restaurant owner Hicham Khodr bought the 15,000-square-foot building at 316 Magazine St. for an undisclosed price Wednesday. The property was last assessed at a value of more than $830,000.
The structure dates from 1880, when it contained an active trading floor for coffee beans and other commodities. It is now used primarily to host events such as wedding receptions. Torres said it will continue to be used for that purpose.
“When it became available for sale, I jumped at the opportunity to preserve this space,” he said. “New Orleans is one of the country’s top wedding destinations, and there is a lack of wedding space downtown and in the French Quarter.”
The Board of Trade, a nonprofit organization that provides various services to the maritime association, has maintained offices in the building but will now relocate, Torres said.
Torres is the former president of SDT Waste & Debris Services LLC, a trash collection company that achieved an uncharacteristic level of fame locally because of Torres’ TV commercials featuring cameos by celebrities such as Lenny Kravitz and Kid Rock. The company was acquired by Progressive Waste Solutions in 2011. Torres also is the owner of IV Capital, a private investment firm.
Khodr is co-owner of NOLA restaurant and owner of The Grill. Formerly known as Camellia Grill, the restaurant was renamed because of a legal battle over its name and image.