New businesses and homes popping up along Tulane Avenue in Mid-City may become part of a state cultural district, thanks to an application submitted to the state's culture moguls. The application, sent to the state Office of Cultural Development, was endorsed earlier this month by New Orleans City Councilwomen Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell. The Office of Cultural Development is part of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, which is overseen by the lieutenant governor.
Cultural districts "spark community revitalization," Guidry said, because they allow for sales tax exemptions on the sale of original one-of-a-kind works of art and give tax credits for regular owner-occupied residential and mixed-use buildings.
The council has requested that the Museum City Park Cultural District boundaries be expanded to include Tulane Avenue from South Pierce Street to Broad Street and Interstate 10 from South Bernadotte Street to City Park Avenue. The expansion would include a sizable portion of land near I-10 and City Park Avenue. The boundary was last revised in 2011.
Two new Mid-City businesses just opened their doors this year in the 3800 block of Tulane Avenue. Treo is a craft-cocktail bar with an upstairs art gallery, and the Tulane Ave. Bar recently opened down the street. The owner of Treo, Pauline Patterson, was a leading proponent of the application, according to City Council members, and Patterson's bar and art gallery would benefit from the expansion of the cultural district.
Guidry called Patterson and other business owners along Tulane Avenue "pioneers" of the area. "It is exciting because the expansion of Tulane is going to become such a beautiful entry to New Orleans in the future," she said.