Plans are taking shape to redevelop the abandoned Bally’s casino dock and administrative building on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans into a live entertainment venue, including an outdoor amphitheater and an open-air market.
The proposal by Roland Von Kurnatowski, the owner of Tipitina’s and the Orpheum Theater, also calls for surrounding the proposed 5,000-person amphitheater with a promenade that includes restaurants and retail space and building a fuel dock and marina supply and convenience store at the 19-acre site, documents filed with the city last week show.
The project’s first two phases, which are estimated to cost at least $13 million over five years, would revive an area of the lakefront that’s been vacant since Hurricane Katrina.
An application for the project — called Lakeshore Landing — requests conditional-use permits to allow the outdoor amusement facility, a bar, a live performance venue and retail alcohol sales.
The site is owned by the Orleans Levee District and managed by the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority, which brokered a 50-year lease with the development team, operating as Studio Network-Lakefront LLC. The lease includes a 49-year renewal option.
The first phase of the project — expected to take three years and cost at least $6 million — includes renovating the former Bally’s building to include a first-floor, open-air space for private parties and a second floor to house a restaurant, commercial kitchen and large outdoor decks with seating. That phase also calls for building the amphitheater, restaurants and parking, as well as the fuel dock and convenience store.
The project’s second phase — slated to be completed within five years and cost at least $7 million — includes building a music club, a recording studio and additional restaurant, bar and retail space.
A still-to-be-decided timeline for a third phase includes building educational and museum facilities.
The project’s architect is New Orleans-based Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.
The project also includes plans for a custom boathouse along the harbor’s edge that will be leased by the National World War II Museum. The museum wants to use it to house a wooden Navy torpedo boat — originally built in New Orleans and undergoing restoration in the city for nearly a decade — that can offer rides to people.
The proposal was made after the authority sought to redevelop about 4.5 acres of lakefront property and the nearly 30,000-square-foot South Shore Harbor Marina terminal building, which was part of the operation of the Bally’s Riverboat Casino until the boat relocated to St. Mary Parish after Katrina.
Follow Richard Thompson on Twitter, @rthompsonMSY.
Editor’s note: This story was changed on March 30, 2016, to say the site of the proposed live entertainment venue is owned by the Orleans Levee District and managed by the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority.