Mayor Mitch Landrieu hosted his annual meeting to discuss the coming year’s budget priorities with residents of City Council District B last week, fielding a barrage of questions on all kinds of topics. One attendee asked for an update on improvements to South Claiborne Avenue, and on that, Landrieu deferred to District B City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who lives near the corridor and has made its revitalization a personal priority.
Cantrell began her answer by touting the new businesses that have already opened on South Claiborne, such as the larger Magnolia Marketplace development or individual businesses such as the Pelican Pointe car wash. Moving forward, she said, she and city economic development officials are now particularly focused on the section of South Claiborne between General Taylor and Delachaise streets, speaking with individual property owners about improving their holdings or selling them.
“We have to clean up that area of Claiborne Avenue,” Cantrell said. “It can either hold us back or move us forward.”
Then, Cantrell continued, more development is in the works.
“Other additions, such as Chick-Fil-A, are coming to Claiborne,” Cantrell said. “We have other improvements along Claiborne and Washington Avenue.”
For now, that statement remains the only hint of information about the possibility. City economic development officials declined to respond to Cantrell’s comment about Chick-Fil-A, and she was unavailable to elaborate afterward.
Chick-Fil-A’s website only lists a single location in the New Orleans city limits, inside the university center at the University of New Orleans. The company is opening a new location on South Clearview Parkway in the Elmwood area of Metairie this week, but no reference to a South Claiborne location is mentioned.
“I do not see a South Claiborne location listed on any real-estate reports,” said Anne Lerner, a spokeswoman for the company.
The intersection of fried chicken and city politics, however, was too tantalizing for New Orleans social media to resist.
— skooks (@skooks) July 15, 2016
@skooks the nuggets will pay for pot holes, the waffle fries will stop crime
— rekcaB haciM (@MrGreenGenez) July 14, 2016
— Larry Larmeu (@LarryLarmeu) July 15, 2016
— cWd (@YesICandice) July 15, 2016