Tulane To Be Main Tenant In Former Charity Hospital

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A private university in New Orleans will be the lead tenant of a former public hospital building that has been closed since Hurricane Katrina flooded it in 2005, the school said Monday.

Tulane University will occupy more than one-third of the Charity Hospital building.

“The plan at this point is that it will be the new home for the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine -- as well as laboratories, academic, and instructional space for the Tulane School of Medicine and Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine,” Patrick Norton, Tulane’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement emailed by a school spokesman.

The 20-story art deco building, which was completed in 1938 and covers a city block, was a hospital for nearly 70 years. Tulane will occupy a 12-story wing, university spokesman Mike Strecker said. The wing is expected to open in 2025.

A group called 1532 Tulane Partners Inc. was chosen in 2019 to redevelop the 1-million-square-foot (93,000-square meter) building — once also called “Big Charity” — for office, retail and residential use.

The university, development group and SKK Opportunity Zone Fund I LLC said Tulane will have a long-term lease on nearly 350,000 square feet (32,500 square meters) of space for research, teaching and administration.

“The goal is to place more labs and scientists together in an innovation district downtown where Tulane discoveries can come to market faster, launch spinout companies, support community startup talent and attract outside investment designed to transform New Orleans into a hub of bioscience research,” the news release said.

Norton said anchoring the redevelopment with research labs and medical and public health classrooms will keep the building “true to the roots and spirit of the historic former Charity Hospital.”