Costello and members of the Algiers Point Association both said they would like to see the existing terminal remain and receive minor upgrades, such as a paint job or new art on its walls.The Legislature passed the law permitting such a partnership just yesterday. It awaits the Governor's signature. Today we learned more about who the potential partner might be.
While there is little money available for any sort of improvements, the RTA hopes to attract private dollars under a partnership that would need to be cleared by the state Legislature, Augustine said.
Under such an arrangement, the agency would issue a request for proposals. A private developer then could agree to finance improvements or build a new terminal in exchange for receiving ferry fare revenues or some other form of payment from the RTA.
Gulf Properties LLC, led by developer Pieter Stoffels, is presenting plans for NOLA City Beach, which would sit on a newly constructed elevated wharf, most of it covered with sand. The property would house a pool and lounge area, a two-story building with a restaurant and upstairs multi-use venue and festival grounds overlooking the river with a movable stage for performances.So what's the deal? Are the beach and pool bar people going to paint the terminal, at least? There isn't enough information.
Stoffels declined to say how much the project will cost. He said he has secured a 99-year lease for the privately owned property near the Algiers ferry terminal.
Stoffels said his team is in talks with the Regional Transit Authority and Transdev, the RTA's private operator, about extending ferry service hours because of the anticipated increased demand from NOLA City Beach. He estimates 60 percent of customers would arrive via the ferry, including tourists staying in downtown hotels.All that says, really, is the little pedestrian ferry might run a bit later to meet the venue's needs. Of course it would close at 11 PM so we're still not any closer to a late night ferry that might help service industry types get home from the Quarter after a shift. But why would we build a transit service that prioritizes getting residents around town over getting tourists to attractions anyway?