The University of New Orleans Research and Technology Foundation and Whitney Bank announced on Thursday a 10-year, 104,000 square foot lease in the Information Technology Center #4 on the Lakefront. Whitney will occupy the entire building, which will house more than 300 associates supporting corporate services such as information technology, telecommunications management, distributed systems applications, accounting functions and training and professional development.
Whitney will begin moving associates to the UNO Research & Technology Park within weeks and expects to have all associates in place by April.
“Many of the associates who will occupy the UNO facility will move from the bank’s Labarre Road operations center in Jefferson Parish,” said Steven Barnett, the Whitney Bank senior vice president who directs Whitney’s corporate real estate and facilities management. The Whitney Bank branch at Labarre Road and Jefferson Highway will remain open to serve bank customers.
Barnett said that Whitney has collaborated with the University of New Orleans and its affiliates on many different projects related to the University’s instructional, research and economic development missions since the early 1960s.
“We have consistently partnered with UNO in hiring students as interns in our credit analysis department and as commercial credit trainees. Our new facilities in the Research Park adjacent to the UNO Main Campus will help us envision ways to offer student internship opportunities in other areas of the company," Barnett said.
"We are also committed to working with the University to market UNO programs specifically to Whitney associates interested in pursuing advanced degrees through the company’s tuition reimbursement program. We believe this is a great fit for Whitney Bank and the University.”
According to Eileen Kennedy Byrne, president and chief executive officer of the UNO Research and Technology Foundation, collaborations with the University and other tenants are a critical component in leasing space in the Research and Technology Park.
“Whitney recently completed a $600,000 gift towards the establishment of the Whitney Bank Endowed Chair in Banking at UNO," Byrne said. "The Whitney Chair will act as a catalyst for research, academic enhancement, and industry best practices, serving an important academic and economic purpose as the banking industry continues to evolve.”
Whitney’s presence in the Research Park brings enhanced opportunities for UNO faculty and students.
“We are thrilled to have such a well-known institution and long-time University supporter as Whitney Bank join us,” Byrne said.
“Co-locating this highly respected financial services company along with science and engineering leaders greatly expands our tenant mix," she added. "Such industry diversity provides students attending classes at UNO new opportunities for gaining real-world experience in a wide range of fields as well as the potential for high-paying careers right here in the Park.
"This collaboration perfectly fits the critical need for Louisiana to develop a quality workforce to meet industry’s changing demands and further strengthens the region’s economic competitiveness. It bodes well for the future.”