Redeveloping St. Rose de Lima

In July 2017, Alembic Community Development and Rose Community Development Corporation, a community-based organization  working on New Orleans’ historic Bayou Road commercial corridor, closed on the redevelopment financing and began construction on the long-vacant St. Rose de Lima church campus. The project, called the Rose Collaborative, is preserving three historic buildings totaling 45,600 square feet and repurposing them into new 7th Ward homes for Southern Rep Theatre, the Waldorf School of New Orleans, and a co-working office space anchored by Fund 17.

Southern Rep, New Orleans’ acclaimed 30-year old production company, will make its home in the renovated church, which will retain the building’s exterior and internal details, fitting the volume of the new theater within the walls and ceiling of the historic structure. Meanwhile, the church’s generous front setback will become a public plaza that hosts diverse open performances as a focal point for community on Bayou Road.

The two former schoolhouses on the campus are also undergoing historic renovations. The Waldorf School, a nonprofit operating in New Orleans for more than 15 years, will house a nursery through 8th grade school that brings a commitment to student diversity and a curriculum supporting their physical, spiritual, social and intellectual growth, with a particular emphasis on culture and the arts. In the adjacent old schoolhouse, Alembic and Rose CDC are partnering with Fund 17, a nonprofit that combats opportunity inequality by providing micro-entrepreneurs with financial and educational tools, to operate a co-working office space that includes a resource center for home-based entrepreneurs and small businesses.