A concrete-batching plant under construction on a lot about a block from the South Broad Street overpass has been halted temporarily amid opposition from residents of the Zion City neighborhood; rapidly rising home prices in the Irish Channel made the area the focus for a recent case study of post-Katrina gentrification; and the dramatic reduction in appraised value of an assisted-living center on Magazine Street is being questioned, according to recent reports.
A company owned by a cousin of Mayor Landrieu had begun construction on a concrete-batching plant in the 1200 block of South Dupre — just behind the Restaurant Depot — where the property owner had previously tried to build a stable and a helicopter landing pad, reports Karen Gadbois of The Lens. Action by City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell brought the project to a temporary halt in October, however, and members of the New Zion City Preservation Association are now insisting the company move elsewhere, Gadbois reports.
The historic homes of the Irish Channel are drawing new buyers into the neighborhood and sending property values soaring, increasing the number of white people and decreasing the proportion of working-class families, reports Andrew Vanacore of The New Orleans Advocate. The changes make the Channel emblematic of “downtown neighborhoods across the country that have seen the tide of ‘white flight’ reverse itself to one degree or another over the past decade,” Vanacore reports.
When the church-owned nonprofit Malta Park assisted living center on Magazine Street was sold to a for-profit company and renamed Homelife in the Gardens, it “received one of the steepest reductions in tax assessment in recent history” from the City Council, making its per-square-foot assessed value “the lowest of any assisted living home in the city,” according to a report by Mike Perlstein of our partners at WWL-TV. The developer characterized the property as distressed prior to the sale and said its purchase is generating new economic activity, but Assessor Errol Williams tells WWL that he will seek to revisit the low assessment on the property in the spring.