Thursday, July 29, 2010

Riverwalk Marketplace New Orleans Louisiana

The Riverwalk Marketplace is located on the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans off of Convention Center Blvd. The directory shows how the floor plan is laid out. This mall is essentially three floors that are connected by escalators and elevators. The mall is mostly filled with tourist shops and collectible stores. There are a few national chains that remain here including the GAP, but the mall has lost several of the higher end or corporate chain stores that were here before Hurricane Katrina. The Riverwalk Marketplace has been a success story for over 20 years surviving two disasters. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which did not flood the mall, but shut the mall down for months because there was no power. In 1996 the Bright Freight disaster demolished a huge area of the riverside of the mall. The Riverwalk Mall is still a great place to go and see the river without having to deal with the hot, humid climate of New Orleans. The mall has a new owner, so the property may be on the verge of an update since the mall has not changed in many years. I am pretty sure that this mall opened in 1986. This is one of four malls that opened in New Orleans in the 1980's. Canal Place is small and remains a high end upper class mall with Saks Fifth Avenue. Jackson Brewery only has a handful of shops and food court tenants left and looks to be in trouble. The New Orleans Center did not reopen after Hurricane Katrina and has since been mostly demolished to make way for an entertainment area to compliment New Orleans Saints games. The Riverwalk Marketplace has slipped a bit since the Hurricane but continues to be successful. I have many memories of this mall over the years, and some of the stores like the train shop that used to be there that had a train track over the store.

This is one of the murals throughout the mall about the history of the Mississippi river.

This is the best picture I could get of the lower level of the mall. The lower level is dark and cavernous like the bottom of a ship. Ironically this was the part of the mall that was most severely damaged when a ship lost control in the Mississippi River and hit the mall in December 1996. For more information on this event see this website at Check out the multimedia page for pictures of the damage to the mall. This part of the mall has some vacancies, but there is a daiquiri shop and cafe du monde on the river side of the mall.

This is the levee market level in the middle of the mall. This part of the mall has several vacancies as well.

This store is located at the entrance to the food court; not many malls have a Mardi Gras store.

The food court has a few Louisiana outlets and some chain restaurants. I found the prices here to be higher than most food courts. At the end of the food court a Louisiana food and beverage museum occupies a former mini-anchor that I do not recall the name of.

The upper level retail features high ceilings and a view of the river to the south of the mall. There are a few vacancies here, but not too many. There is a Fudgery chocolate shop here that does public shows to promote their products.

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