Article submitted by Carmen R. Austin, MBA, CCIM, Associate Broker for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate
Written by Rebecca Mowbray, The Times-Picayune June 10, 2012
Insert With a few recent retail wins, economic development officials and real estate professionals say that the prospect for getting more national stores into New Orleans is looking up. In May, after months of speculation that the shopping club Costco Wholesale Corp. would come to New Orleans, the city officially announced the retailer's plans to open at the former Carrollton Shopping Center in 2013. On Wednesday, the New Orleans Business Alliance and the Downtown Development District announced that Major League Baseball hat retailer New Era Cap Co. Inc. will open a flagship store on Canal Street before the 2013 Super Bowl, adding New Orleans to an impressive list of cities around the globe.
After years of begging retailers to come to New Orleans, the city's fortunes suddenly appear to be turning. Next year's Super Bowl and the anticipated 2015 opening of University Medical Center are creating incentives for retailers to get in and get settled. The reopening of the Hyatt and construction along the Loyola Avenue corridor are proof that the city has been able to garner investment. And more apartments downtown and the return of tourism has put more bodies downtown.
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Carmen has been a practicing commercial real estate broker since 2001. She is a graduate of the Louisiana State University (LSU) E.J. Ourso College of Business and the LSU Flores Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Finance. Her experience includes past employment as Regional Director of Leasing at Commercial Properties Realty Trust the for-profit arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Carmen’s affiliations include Louisiana REALTORS®, Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division, International Council of Shopping Centers, Commercial Real Estate Women, Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute, National Association of REALTORS®, and Urban Land Institute. She is also an active volunteer on the board of directors for the Baton Rouge Gallery, LSU MBA Alumni Association, Junior Achievement of Baton Rouge, and the Junior League of Baton Rouge. Carmen currently serves as the 2010 President of the Louisiana CCIM Chapter.
Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).