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The History of the Rose Collaborative

Following Hurricane Katrina and the floods in 2005, community leaders in the 7th Ward and Treme came together to rebuild their neighborhoods. Among the challenges identified were the need for spaces that supported New Orleans’ cultural arts and burgeoning education sector. This planning work coalesced into the concept of creating a campus specifically to advance these goals. In 2010, under the leadership of Hal Brown, Vera Warren Williams, Vaughn Fauria, Jeanne Nathan, Robert Tannen and others, and in partnership with the Downtown Neighborhoods Improvement Association, the Rose Community Development Corporation was founded. Led by Hal, a developer with deep roots in the 7th Ward, the nonprofit identified the closed St Rose de Lima Church campus on Bayou Road and Columbus Street as the ideal site for the project, named the Bayou Treme Center.


While making significant progress in putting the project together, Hal was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away in spring 2013. Rose CDC’s Board held on to the vision for the project, and under the leadership of Hal’s widow, Shawn Kennedy, it maintained site control and sought additional capacity to carry out the project.


In late 2014, Rose CDC selected Alembic Community Development through a competitive process to assist in realizing a redevelopment effort that met the original project objectives of supporting the arts, education and community on Bayou Road and Columbus Street. Rose CDC and Alembic formed a joint venture partnership, purchased the St Rose campus from the Archdiocese in June 2016, closed on financing and started construction in July 2017, and completed construction in August 2018. The project was renamed as the Rose Collaborative in 2017 following input from community members. Rose CDC and Alembic continue to own the property together, sharing both project decision making and economics.

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