RockStep Capital is proud to highlight our most recent acquisition—the Riverwalk Outlets in New Orleans. A sought-after destination for retail space, the outlets are home to over 75 brands. This acquisition launched RockStep Capital’s new investment approach focused on metropolitan markets. The strategy will help accomplish RockStep’s desire to satisfy the demand for unique customer experiences. With the help of RockStep, the Riverwalk Outlets will undergo updates that will seamlessly blend the “live, work, play” lifestyle that is becoming increasingly popular. We are confident these updates will raise the return of our investors and positively influence the New Orleans community.
About the Riverwalk Outlets
Established right off the Mississippi River, the Riverwalk Outlets are the premier spot for tourists and locals alike. The site was originally the location of the 1984 World’s Fair and transitioned to outlets in the 1980s. The Riverwalk Outlets is host to various stores and brands, from Kate Spade to Crocs and everything in between. The waterfront property was previously owned by The Howard Hughes Corporation and acquired by RockStep Capital earlier this year.
Why did we choose the Riverwalk Outlets? Not only is New Orleans consistently ranked in the top ten most visited cities in the United States, but the city boasts a large local population. Within just a five-mile radius of our premier property are more than 365,000 residents with an average household income of roughly $74,000.
In addition to the strong surrounding market, the Riverwalk Outlets has a history of success. Prior to 2020, the Outlet’s units were 99% occupied, with retailers lining up to join the waitlist to get into the space. Though the pandemic lowered these numbers slightly, it also opened up an opportunity to revamp the downtown spot and create a space that is increasingly focused on not only shopping, but events and entertainment as well. Our goal for the center is to reach full occupancy in 24 to 36 months, and we are already in negotiations with several luxury brands, including Karl Lagerfeld which is set to open in October, and preparing for their arrival at the outlets!
Plans for the Future
Plans for the outlet collection include revamping the Spanish Plaza to make it an entertainment destination. The Spanish Plaza will be a focal point for fine dining and entertainment, serving as an entry point for the surrounding riverwalk. A re-imagined fountain at the center of the space and a stage for local performances and shows are expected to revitalize the shopping center. Alongside the new covered, outdoor seating, these upgrades are sure to make the plaza a key destination for those looking for peak New Orleans entertainment, shopping and dining.
Plus, new outward-facing restaurants in some of the larger spaces in the outlet will bring in visitors who aren’t necessarily looking to shop but could be drawn in by the entertainment factor of the space.
In addition to these remodels, plans include partnerships with the cruise ship lines and hotels nearby. Four of the most popular cruise lines dock at the Riverwalk, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney, and more than 1.2 million passengers vacationed from this port in 2019 alone. With the companies back up and running as usual after the pandemic, we expect those numbers to remain strong in 2023.
The Riverwalk Outlets are about to be even more accessible. The expected completion of the ferry terminal and new pedestrian bridge will provide shoppers with smoother and safer transportation options, and it will connect the Audubon Aquarium to the Spanish Plaza.
These innovative developments will change the consumer experience at the Riverwalk Outlets and we are confident this will drive the success of the premier property, improving the downtown community.
Learn more about the vendors who call the Riverwalk Outlets home, from luxury brands to local restaurants. You can find a complete list of retailers here.
The RockStep Mission
At RockStep Capital, we’re always looking for new investment opportunities. With the chief mission of improving the quality of life for consumers at our developments, we are attracted to vibrant centers of the community and are pursuing ways to enhance our properties. The recent repositioning of our strategy means we are branching into larger metropolitan markets, like the Riverwalk Outlets. We seek out the “irreplaceable drivers” of economic growth and aim to take an innovative and creative approach to managing them. Take a look at our portfolio to learn more.
You can learn more about our premier property by visiting the Riverwalk Outlets’ website.