The president of the Port of New Orleans says in the annual State of the Port address that business has been good this year. Officials expect that good news to continue.
Port President Gary LaGrange had an optimistic assessment for the 200 business and elected officials attending his address.
“Your Port of New Orleans is doing fabulous," LaGrange said.
"General cargo is up 8.5 percent over last year. The port now has the largest blast-freeze cold storage facility in the northern Hemisphere. The number of cruise passengers traveling through New Orleans is expected to hit one million for the first time.
“How ‘bout this one: aluminum up 70 — seven-zero — percent on the year. Rubber, up 8.9 percent on the year.”
However, there are some concerns. Said LaGrange:
“We need to pay attention to coffee and forest products, which are slightly off the mark this year.”
LaGrange says upcoming projects include a Poland Avenue cruise ship terminal. and he’s hoping to attract an upscale restaurant at the French Quarter property to offer city and riverside views. LaGrange also says the West Bank is being explored for development, with three possible sites under review.
And there’s retail development.
“The Riverwalk. The Howard Hughes Corporation — delayed now for three or four months — but will open a new, state-of-the-art $70 million factory outlet with separate elevators connected to the cruise ship terminal.”
LaGrange says the port will continue pushing lawmakers for more dredging to greater depths, and more trade with Central and South America and the Caribbean.