Bounded by Canal Street to the south and the Pontchartrain expressway (US90B) to the south, the Central Business District and Warehouse District have both been home to explosive growth in residences over the last few years.
The Warehouse District was, as the name implies, home to the various cotton, rice and sugar warehouses that served the port of New Orleans. After the 1984 World’s Fair, the Warehouse District began taking shape as condos were developed along the river. Throw in the convention center, the Arts District, multiple museums (WWII, Southern Art, Contemporary Art and more) and art galleries, fantastic dining options and annual events such as White Linen Night and it all combines into one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in New Orleans.
The Central Business District is home to not just high rise offices, but also to some reinvented spaces that have most recently been transformed into apartments and condos. Luxury living is the standard for most options in the CBD and this area is most comparable to other urban choices such as those in New York. Parking can be at a premium, but public transportation is always nearby, so having a vehicle isn’t a necessity unless you want it to be. With Canal Street dividing the CBD from the French Quarter, you’ll be just minutes away from everything you need for a staycation.
In the 1950’s and 60’s, a number of construction projects were completed including a six-lane Loyola Avenue, an extension of Elk that cut through a low-income resident district and became home to the city’s new civic center. Poydras Street was widened to create another six-lane arterial for vehicle traffic, as well as accommodate the sky scraper construction.
One side note, Canal Street is most commonly thought of the dividing line between the French Quarter and the American Sector, technically both side of the street are considered part of the CBD for regulatory and zoning purposes.
The CBD encompasses, the American Sector, the area the American’s settled in after the United States took over control the city. The CBD's boundaries as defined as Iberville, Decatur and Canal Streets to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Julia and Magazine Streets and the Pontchartrain Expressway to the south, and South Claiborne Avenue, Cleveland and South and North Derbigny Streets to the west.
The CBD is the hub for more than just business in New Orleans. In addition to the sky scrapers, you can find popular destinations like the Mercedes Benz Superdome where the Saints play, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and Harrah’s casino and hotel.
Central Business District History
It also home to retail locations, popular bars and restaurants, premier art galleries and residents inhabiting restored historic commercial and industrial buildings.
In the 19 th and well into the 20 th century, the area was going through constant development. My mid-20 th century, the majority of professional offices in the region were located in the CBD. Canal Street developed into a retail destination for that city’s residents and those living in near by cities. Theaters and movie palaces took up residence, the Saenger, Loews State, Orpheum, Joy and Civic decorated the city with their multicolored lights.
The Central Business District was already known as Faubourg Ste. Marie. It was originally settled in the 18 th century as a residential area.
The Warehouse District
The Central Business District (CBD) in New Orleans is what most cities call their downtown.
The Warehouse District name comes from the warehouse and manufacturing industry that once filled the section of the CBD closest to the Mississippi River and south of Poydras Street. When centralized shipping became popular, the area fell into disuse, but only for a short time. In 1984, the World’s Fair came to town and brought renewed attention to the area that resulted in new investment and redevelopment into the area. Many of the 19 th century warehouses were transformed into art galleries, condos, hotels and restaurants.