The Greater New Orleans Biosciences Economic Development District (GNOBEDD), now referred to as BioDistrict New Orleans, is a state-enabled economic development district (with taxing and bonding authority) that was created by the State of Louisiana in 2005 and charged with the responsibility of growing both the programmatic and physical development components of the biosciences sector of the New Orleans economy. The 1,500-acre district spans the downtown and Mid-City areas of New Orleans, bounded by Earhart Boulevard, Carrollton Avenue, Loyola Avenue and Iberville Street. The BioDistrict is focused on the development of a biosciences industry in New Orleans that will provide world-class biosciences research and development; local, regional, and global healthcare delivery; and stable, high-paying jobs for professionals, managers and workers representing a wide range of skills. Through partnerships among major educational and research institutions, private companies, government agencies and independent foundations, BioDistrict New Orleans will create opportunities for workforce training and research needed to build a successful biosciences industry.
The BioDistrict Board of Commissioners is comprised of 12 members, and is currently fully seated. Board members include representatives from each of the major academic and medical institutions, including Xavier University, Delgado Community College, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, and Ochsner Health System. The Board also includes four appointments from the Governor of Louisiana and one from the Department of Louisiana Economic Development (LED). In addition, the Mayor of New Orleans has three appointments representing individuals from GNO, Inc., the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, The Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, and a seat for the Mayor at Large, currently filled by Deputy Mayor of New Orleans, Andrew Kopplin. James P. McNamara is the BioDistrict President and CEO.
In order to realize its vision and accomplish its mission, BioDistrict New Orleans has been given a $2.4 million grant by the Louisiana Recover Authority to conduct a four-phase, 14-month master planning process. This plan includes a comprehensive analysis of the BioDistrict’s current status coupled with an extensive outreach to local communities, businesses, educators, and civic and political leaders.
The master planning team consists of AECOM, CB Richard Ellis, Cannon Design, Chester Engineering, The Ehrhardt Group and Bright Moments. The results of the three phase planning study will be offered to BioDistrict New Orleans as the blueprint for the development of a world-class biosciences industry. When adopted, the BioDistrict Plan will include recommendations for tangible and attainable goals to take advantage of the area’s urban design character, infrastructure and utility systems, community setting and economic and market advantages.