Plans to transform former Times-Picayune site to ‘504 Golf’ win preliminary approval

Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:38 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New owners of the former Times-Picayune property in the shadow of Caesar’s Superdome are confident in their ability to launch a new golf and entertainment concept by spring 2024.

Brother buyers Alex and Nick Xiao won preliminary approval of their development plan Tuesday (Jan. 10).

“We are working out the final details and the plans are in development and we are very close,” said project consultant Miles Granderson.

Frustration has grown over the development of the property, visible to thousands of drivers each day along the Pontchartrain Expressway, since businessman Joe Jaeger purchased it in 2016 with plans to develop a similar concept; Drive Shack.

Some construction remains from Joe Jaeger's failed attempt at developing a similar...
Some construction remains from Joe Jaeger's failed attempt at developing a similar entertainment golf concept.(rob masson)

The new owners have proposed spending $40 million to build a recreational golf venue called 504 Golf - complete with 71 bays for practicing golf shots, restaurants, bars, and conference rooms.

“It can generate close to $1 million a year when it comes to sales tax and more with state taxes with roughly 200 permanent jobs are 150 construction jobs,” said Granderson.

As the project moves forward, members of the Industrial Development Board have made it clear they want to see small businesses and disadvantaged businesses reap some of the economic benefits.

“I need more information before this project before it moves forward,” said board member Iam Tucker.

504 Golf developers promised to provide more specifics on disadvantaged business participation before they submit the project for final approval.

“There will not be a lack of effort or follow-up,” said Granderson.

Developers will be looking for a property tax break to help them finance the project, which they say is experiencing spiraling cost increases of around $4 million due to inflation.

Once the project wins city approval, developers say they will begin tearing down portions of the building erected by the previous developer. If all goes well, they say this expressway eyesore could become an attractive new golf facility by early next year.

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