Ekistics, inc., a New Orleans-based real estate development firm, creates uncommonly beautiful residential lofts and boutique hotels. The word "ekistics" literally means "of settlements" or says CEO Sean Cummings, "The study of where and why people live where they do in an urban setting." In 1988, ekistics brought SoHo style lofts to New Orleans. In 1998, it created the city's premier boutique hotel. In 2008 it created Entrepreneurs Row, a workspace for start-ups. In 2009, the principals created “Reinventing the Crescent”, the transformation of the local riverfront.  “We love cities", states Cummings, "the energy of great cities and this one especially. In our buildings, people find a cheerful sense of human connectedness. Like Aldo Rossi’s idea of the “urban artifact” which brings in far more than the physical building via culture and general human life, people respond to our authentic and imaginatively designed spaces and the celebration of life found in them. It’s the power of great design to uplift the human spirit. You know, like Teilhard said, "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey.  We are spiritual beings on a human journey. ”

Hill Harper

Harper is an accomplished film, television and stage actor, as well as author, inspired speaker and entrepreneur.  Hill loves New Orleans and invests in some of the city’s more inventive real estate projects, while also spearheading local youth mentoring efforts. Hill is most recognized for the CBS drama series, CSI: NY. (Dr. Sheldon Hawkes), a riveting silver-screen performance in the independent film, The Visit, as the author of four books, including “Letter to a Young Brother”.  He was named by People magazine as one of their "Sexiest Men Alive" (2004), and shared a distinguished academic career with, among others President Barack Obama.  From magna cum laude honors at Brown University, which he attended with Sean Cummings, to his J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School, as well as a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Hill has demonstrated uncommon excellence. He is a full-time member of Boston's Black Folk's Theater Company, one of the nation's oldest and most respected African American traveling theater troupes, and performed on and off Broadway, including the Joseph Papp Theatre. Born in Sacramento and now living in Los Angeles, he says of this La., “In some ways, New Orleans feels like my spiritual home as well.”  Hill is an owner of hotels International House and Loft 523, entrepreneurial workspaces at Entrepreneurs Row and mixed use residential projects such as the Lengsfield Lofts and Elisio Lofts.  He has also invested in several game-changing start-up companies in New Orleans, including www.Free-Flow-Power.com

5th Floor

5thfloor Company is a New Orleans-based real estate development, acquisition and asset management company.  With over $150,000,000 in multi-family assets under management in three of the major cities of Louisiana, 5thfloor strives to create a living experience that not only is unique to its residents but one which delivers extraordinary returns to its stakeholders.


StudioWTA is an award-winning architecture, planning and interior design firm based in New Orleans. Founded in 1991 and led by Wayne Troyer, the studio operates in an open, collaborative and integrated environment. In WTA’s projects, it is the commitment to a shared ideal which allows the diverse talents of individual artists, contractors, craftsmen and people who utilize a space to be valued and find expression. In recent multi-family, hotel and university buildings, it is evident that studioWTA sees design as a directed study of meaning and form, one which is grounded in the complex and shifting relations between ideology, culture, history and the physical contexts in which the projects takes place.