South shore Lakefront getting new entertainment complex

Jacqueline Quynh talks about new developments for the Southshore Lakefront.

NEW ORLEANS -- Changes are coming for the south shore of the Lakefront, as soon as the summer.

It's been peaceful and serene evening along the Lakefront in New Orleans East, especially for those who call it home.

Things haven't always been this quiet. Before Hurricane Katrina, a casino used to draw thousands to the old Southshore Marina. Now, the area is being dealt a new hand.

"I grew up coming out to the Lakefront and to the sea wall and swimming and crabbing and all that," said Tipitina's owner Roland Von Kurnatowski.

He and his and family have big plans for the lakefront; an entertainment complex. It'll include an amphitheater, a refueling dock, as well as an event facility with restaurants and shops. The complex will be right next door to the hangar for the PT 305, a historical Navy vessel.

MORE: Restored WWII boat PT 305 returns to dock, rides start in April 

"It's worrisome to see a facility like this that seems underutilized," he said.

One of the family's most recent undertakings was restoring the Orpheum Theater to its former glory. Now, they hope they'll have the same magic touch, hosting events on the south shore.

"From boat shows to and fishing rodeos and World War II Museum events," Von Kurnatowski.

Slated to open this summer will be the refueling dock and then the marina convenience store, followed by the pavilion, and then the amphitheater.

Some are asking if the complex will draw people to the area once it’s completed.

If a music festival two years ago which brought out 5,000 people is any indication, the answer could be yes. 

Residents said they welcome the revival of the area, but are worried about other issues who more people, including security.

Von Kurnatowski is also one of the founders of the Tipitina’s Foundation, which supports the city’s music community. In line with that mission, he said a recording studio will be housed inside of the new development.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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