Times-Picayune to lay off 100 workers; print paper in Mobile _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- 3800 Howard Avenue has been the home of the Times-Picayune since 1967. The paper stopped publishing daily in 2012 after 175 years to focus on online efforts. On Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, The Times-Picayune announced it is laying off 28 full-time journalists and nine part-timers as part of a major restructuring aimed at cutting costs.

A New York-based firm that's opening a golf-themed driving range and entertainment-complex in central Florida is reportedly eyeing the former Times-Picayune building at 3800 Howard Ave. for a similar business.

The company is considering opening a "year-round sports entertainment destination that combines golf, dining, competition and fun," according to a letter that circulated among neighbors.

The letter, dated Feb. 28, was from Sherman Strategies, which invited residents to discuss the proposal at a 5:30 p.m. March 14 meeting at Propeller Incubator, 4035 Washington Ave.

"While this project is still in its formative stage, it is our hope that the site will once again be bustling with a new form of commercial and recreational activity for the community," the letter stated.

The 62,000-square-foot facility would include 90 driving range bays across three levels and a variety of other entertainment spaces, including a restaurant, gaming lounge, event space, rooftop terrace and outdoor patio, according to the letter.

"A construction timeline is not yet established, but if the project moves forward, we would anticipate commencement of construction activities as soon as August, which would last approximately 18 months," the letter said.

Topgolf was previously considering the building, which opened in 1968 but has been mostly vacant since 2013.