Downtown New Orleans is a vibrant hub of hospitality, entrepreneurship and innovation. Beginning next year, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business will have a physical presence in the heart of it.
On Jan. 16, construction began on a new business school facility located in the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute building at 725 Howard Ave. This major expansion will enable the Freeman School to deliver programming in hospitality entrepreneurship that leverages its close proximity to NOCHI as well as programs aimed at working professionals and national and international visitors to the city.
“The Freeman School has a strong presence nationally and globally, but we’re especially focused on helping the New Orleans business community grow,” said Freeman Dean Ira Solomon. “With a premier location in downtown New Orleans, we hope to strengthen our efforts to drive economic development with programs that serve the needs of working professionals and increase tourism by attracting new visitors to the city and encouraging extant visitors to extend their stays.”
Approximately 35,000 people work within walking distance of NOCHI, and many more visit the area due to its proximity to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Port of New Orleans, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and other destinations. The Freeman School plans to use the downtown facility to offer executive and part-time MBA programs for working professionals and non-credit offerings aimed at executives from across the country and around the world. These programs might include interdisciplinary offerings taught in conjunction with faculty from other Tulane schools including, for example, law or medicine.
“NOCHI lies in an area of downtown that’s been dubbed New Orleans’ ‘Innovation Corridor’ for the concentration of projects supporting entrepreneurship, the arts, education and philanthropy,” said Matt Schwartz, principal of the Domain Cos. and a member of the Tulane Business School Council. “It’s exciting to see Tulane play a leading role in the resurgence of this part of our city. By creating programming in hospitality entrepreneurship, Freeman is building on New Orleans’ strengths while positioning students to lead the growth of our economy across a wide range of industries.”
The facility will occupy 21,000 square feet, or roughly a quarter of the NOCHI building. The space will feature four classrooms accommodating up to 240 students, 19 faculty and staff offices, two conference rooms, 18 breakout spaces, a student/faculty lounge, and administrative support and reception areas.
The facility is expected to open in January 2019.