Square 46 to break ground next week

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held next Thursday for the Square 46 mixed-use development on Government Street in Mid City.

    Political and civic leaders are invited to the groundbreaking ceremony, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at 4646 Government St.

    Architect Josh Hoffpauir, with Hoffpauir Studios, is developing Square 46 and says construction is expected to take about nine to 10 months. He is eyeing a spring 2017 opening.

    The 25,000-square-foot Square 46 development will sit on the site of the old Giamanco’s restaurant and will contain commercial, office and residential space. The project was announced in November 2014, but Hoffpauir held off construction on the project while waiting to see plans for the Government Street “road diet” to make sure it did not adversely affect his plans.

    Hoffpauir says he can no longer afford to wait for the government to begin work on the road project, which will reduce a stretch of Government from four driving lanes to two and add a dedicated turn lane.

    “They’re not going to build that thing for another three to four years,” he says, adding his main worry is locating sidewalks and landscaping too close to the roadway.

    Hoffpauir plans to include five to six feet of landscaping in front of the development as a buffer just in case his development is impacted by the “road diet.”

    “I don’t think we’ll have any problems,” he says.

    Hoffpauir has already leased 5,900 square feet of space in Square 46 to Clark Gaines for White Star Market, a gourmet food hall similar to the St. Roch Market in New Orleans. Gaines has already signed on big names such as Jay Ducote, Jesse Romero and Michael Mangham in a few of its coveted vendor spaces. Seven of 10 total spaces in the food hall have been claimed.

    Hoffpauir says he has a few other businesses lined up for the remaining spaces, but is not ready to announce them.

    On the residential side, Hoffpauir has a waiting list of 30 people for eight units. He has not started preleasing yet, but he plans to do so once construction begins. He says the addition of White Star Market has increased demand for the residential spaces, but adds there is no more room to add additional housing units.

    “We’ve had really high demand from the start, but that kind of put the icing on the cake,” he says.

    —Ryan Broussard