Ryan Gootee

Ryan Gootee

President/CEO, Ryan Gootee General Contractors, LLC

Ryan Gootee General Contractors currently has three projects underway at the Sazerac House, Fillmore Theater NOLA by Live Nation, and The Rendon.

Built in two 1850s-era buildings on Canal Street, the five-story Sazerac House will have a unique exhibit experience, event space, corporate office space and a penthouse on the roof. The completion date is set for spring 2019.

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The Fillmore Theater will be the first venue built on the second floor of Harrah’s Casino, will accommodate up to 2,900 people, and will open early next year. On The Rendon, I am wearing two hats, developer and contractor. We are historically restoring the old McDonough 31 School in Mid-City into 26 apartment units with a completion date of year-end.

What are you most excited about in the coming year?  The momentum of the construction and real estate industries and New Orleans in general. I think everyone’s been wondering and worrying when the 13-year wave we’ve been riding will flatten out, but it just seems to keep rolling. National economists have been predicting for years that 2019-20 will be the next big downturn, but I’m still optimistic for NOLA. I was driving around downtown this week and realized there are more tower cranes in the air spread over several major projects than I have seen in years. There are many multi-million-dollar projects just starting, on the cusp of starting or in planning that will spur other developments in surrounding areas.

What is the biggest challenge facing your industry today? The declining skilled labor workforce still remains our biggest issue but is also amplified by the high expectations of owners to complete projects as quickly as possible. With the technological advancements over the last 15 years, people expect things almost immediately. Aside from big box stores, fast food, pharmacies and such, most construction projects are serial No. 1 which inherently takes more time. To offset the high-paced demand and shortage of labor, we are fighting technology with technology. Many construction-based software and hardware solutions have come to market over the last few years that have been highly beneficial, but the industry is still behind. We need to stop complaining about our labor woes and start doing something to turn it around. For example, last week we had unCommon Construction, a NOLA nonprofit, speak to the entire company about their efforts to get high school students engaged through actual hands-on training in building a house.

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Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...


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