New Orleanss economy is vividly illustrated by its supply of white-collar jobs. Its Central Business District has not added a new office building since 1989, according to Southeast Real Estate Business. It has 13.5 million square feet of leasable office space -- not much bigger than Bethesda/Chevy Chase, where rents are twice as high. The office vacancy rate in New Orleans is an unhealthy 16 percent and the only reason it isnt worse is that 3 million square feet have been remade as hotels, apartments and condominiums.
There are no national corporations with their headquarters in New Orleans. There are regional headquarters of oil companies such as Chevron and ConocoPhillips, but their primary needs are an airport, a heliport and air conditioning. Not much tying them down. In the Central Business District you will also find the offices of the utilities youd expect, such as the electricity company Entergy. But if you look for major employers in New Orleans, you quickly get down to the local operations of the casino Harrahs, and Popeyes Fried Chicken.
Hardly a crying demand for a commercial entrepot.