New Orleans, LA (2018)

The Rose Collaborative

The substantial rehabilitation of the St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church building and two adjacent schoolhouses into a performance art venue, a non-profit school, co-working space, and small business incubation and training facilities for underserved New Orleans entrepreneurs.


  • NMTC Amount: $10,000,000
  • Total Project Cost: $11,701,857


  • 30 FTE jobs
  • 59 construction jobs
  • Rehabilitation of a vacant or under-utilized historic structure.


Project Description

The Project transformed the vacant St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church building and two schoolhouses into a cultural hub for the arts and education featuring a performing arts venue, a non-profit school, and small business incubation and co-working space.

The centerpiece of the development is the adaptive reuse of the former church into a performing arts venue. The church’s interior was converted into a 120‐seat main stage theater for large productions and a 65‐seat black box theater for smaller performances and acts. The Southern Rep Theatre, an acclaimed 30-year old New Orleans theatre production company with a mission of delivering programming for underserved youth, manages the venue.

The 1925 schoolhouse is now a 23,000 SF educational space designed for the non-profit Waldorf School of New Orleans. This school will serve students from early childhood and kindergarten through eighth grade. This new facility will allow the Waldorf School to increase its minority student enrollment and expand its existing tuition assistance program to include dedicated full annual scholarships across all grades for low‐income families living in its community. As the school prepares to move to its new location, the space within the Rose Collaborative is being used as a temporary home for several community-serving nonprofit tenants.

The 1938 schoolhouse was renovated into 10,880 SF of co‐working space targeting entrepreneurs and non-profits working in New Orleans. It offers flexible and affordable leases and provides small offices, individual desks, and shared amenities at below-market rates. The co-working space also houses the “Micro-Enterprise Recourse Center”, which is operated by a strategic partnership between the Project’s sponsor and FUND 17, a non-profit providing New Orleans’ underserved community entrepreneurs with business development services, training, and resources.

The Project’s performing arts venue allows the Southern Rep Theatre to expand its “School to Stage Pipeline” arts education to low-income communities. The “School to Stage Pipeline” programming includes in-school intensive activities, afterschool workshops, summer camps, and apprenticeships. The Waldorf School will increase the number of students it serves from 150 currently to approximately 225 students at the Project within the next 7 years.


Address: 2539 Columbus Street, New Orleans, LA 70119

Census Tract: 22071003600

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