Tulane expands medical school campus Downtown

Charlotte Block, Associate News Editor

Completion of the 77,000- square-foot Tulane University Commons, which accommodates the student dining facility and the Newcomb College Institute, has been seen as largely successful by undergraduates on the Uptown campus. Now, Tulane is seeking to upgrade its Downtown facilities on the medical campus. 

The university has begun plans to expand the Downtown medical campus, signing a long-term lease with the former owners of Warwick Hotel. The plan is to create 154 apartments for graduate students, researchers, faculty and additional affiliates of Tulane University School of Medicine.

Renovations will include ground floor retail space including a sit-down restaurant, coffee shop and lounge seating to provide additional work space. These new plans provide hope to revitalize the area and create a larger community presence. 

The hotel, located at 1315 Gravier St., was abandoned following Hurricane Katrina and is one of the last properties in the Central Business District to be taken over by developers.

“The Warwick and Charity projects are prime opportunities to exponentially expand the university’s size and research mission, while also bolstering the creation of a robust research and commercialization ecosystem in the heart of the city,” President Mike Fitts said.

New Orleans Redevelopment Fund is the developer for this ongoing project. NORF has completed renovation projects across the city of New Orleans. Tulane alumni are among the development staff, including partnering managers Alex Hernandez and Mike Niemtzow. Hernandez Consulting & Construction is the general contractor while Albert Architecture & SCNZ are the architects. 

The renovation begins this month and is scheduled for completion in August 2021.