THE ICON: Matt Schwartz
THE LEGACY: Where others see blight, Matt Schwartz sees opportunity. A native New Yorker who came to New Orleans to attend Tulane, Schwartz — with friend Chris Papamichael, whom he met at Tulane — started The Domain Cos., a development company geared toward building affordable housing. It found a niche in post-Katrina New Orleans, redeveloping a once-seedy stretch of Tulane Avenue into an area with 483 mixed-income apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail space, transforming a former furniture company into the Warehouse District’s Ace Hotel, and carving the trendy South Market District out of a long-overlooked swath of downtown parking lots and aging buildings. In addition to demonstrating both his vision and business acumen, it’s through those kinds of projects that Schwartz is helping change the New Orleans skyline — and breathe new life into a grand old city.
THE ARTIST: Alexandra Kilburn
THE INSPIRATION: “There are far easier ways to make money in real estate than to do what we do. If we wanted to crank out 10 garden-style apartment projects a year, that would be easy to do, but it would be boring.” — Matt Schwartz, in a 2017 interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune