By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
The old Texaco building in downtown New Orleans is one step closer to being redeveloped, as the state bond commission has approved financing for a repurposing project. The 17-story building is slated for renovations that will include retail space on the ground floor and 112 low-income apartments for seniors housing. The low-income units will soon be needed in the area, as nearby Iberville Housing Development is being redeveloped by the city into a mixed-income neighborhood, WWL-TV.com reported. Even though affordable housing is much needed in the Crescent City, a group called “Revive NOLA” is opposing the redevelopment of the building into low-income housing, citing the project’s incompatibility with other development plans for the theater district.
The building in the 1500 block of Canal Street has been vacant for 15 years, but that will change soon, as renovation is expected to begin in April, with an estimated completion date around mid-2013.
In further news, the Landrieu administration plans to auction off 14 city-owned properties as soon as the spring, according to The Times-Picayune. The move is part of the city’s effort to eliminate 10,000 blighted properties by 2014. If successful, the auction will also generate much needed revenue that by law will be reinvested by the city’s capital building fund in repairs to working buildings, streets and playgrounds.
When restoring purchased property, all buyers will have to comply with zoning regulations, including strict laws regarding historic neighborhoods. In some cases, buyers may also need to begin renovations within a preset timeframe.
The properties for sale include vacant lots, former community centers, a former police station and former police stables, various city offices, even a two-story apartment at 4415-4435 Wilson Ave. Despite some properties’ poor condition, potential buyers have already approached the city for an unused storage facility at 7311 Chef Menteur Highway and for the 28.5 acres of land adjacent to Dillard University, between Paris Park subdivision and London Avenue canal.
Photo courtesy of Infrogmation via Flickr.com