Jean-Paul Villere: Another little slice of paradise (to come)

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The demolition of 1936 Foucher, June 2013. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

The flow of blight remediation in New Orleans may be measured in a broken pendulum of hopscotched city blocks.  Often changes in demography, population, and the chosen dwellings therein might find a more traditional barometric approach of build it and they will come, a law of attraction of sorts.  Schools, pools, Starbucks, what have you.  But for the Crescent City, the block by block measures, even house by house, may seem a little unusual to the inexperienced newcomer or curb loving suburbanite.  And a wonderful example caught my eye the other afternoon, a glacial kinetic landscape too good to pass up.  Enter Danneel and Foucher.

2001 Foucher. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

I ride my bike past here all the time.  As it easily provides access across the city without all the fuss of traffic of fully paved roads, it’s like a pseudo Prytania but on an extreme budget and with zero retail.  And hey, there’s even a working stop light at Danneel and Louisiana, so that counts for something, right?  As I watched the demolition of 1936 Foucher unfurl the other afternoon, I got giddy.  Giddy for like a movie trailer for some crazy film that I might never get to see or that maybe won’t be released for at least 12 or 18 months.  And when it finally does come out, I’ll likely forget what the fuss was about.  But in place of the 30 to 45 second teaser will be ta da! a shiny new something to weigh and critique.

But let’s get back to the fuss, because whether you choose to acknowledge it or not what’s happening is big.  A demolition just doesn’t happen.  It takes effort.  It costs money.  And I love preservationists (hey, I married a conservator), but some times preserving the past needs shelving, and you just have to motor on.  But if embracing the past is your bag then please please please feel free to acquisitively prescribe 2001 Foucher diagonally across here.  A pink, asbestos sided, quaint little shotgun waits just a few feet away, and with its delinquent taxes and health and code liens (according to nolaassessor.com), some one with a little time and money could take over this property (though at some point you’d need a judgment to add you to title).

On left, 1927 Foucher, under contract awaiting it’s future, to the right 1923 Foucher sold for $20,100 fall 2012. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Lastly let’s look at 1927 Foucher.  It recently hit the market for $15,000 and quickly went under contract.  Not so surprising for a dusty old double on relatively dry ground near a troubled school.  And when the Cohen school site shifts use in the next year or so, the prospecting happening at Danneel and Foucher will be fully realized.  Frankly the student body of any school impacts the surrounding area, and this area is no exception.  Additionally, I would submit there are few sites in the city more fertile for positive change to take place.  Time to plant your flag investors, though the vicarious view the from sidelines ain’t so bad neither.

Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at UptownMessenger.com, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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2 thoughts on “Jean-Paul Villere: Another little slice of paradise (to come)

  1. I am excited about the revitalization in this area. I live just a few blocks from Foucher on Danneel. What happens between Marengo & Louisiana potentially has a very positive impact on the value of my home, not to mention improves neighborhood safety! I wish I had the funds available to participate in improving/renovating the quaint little doubles in my neighborhood!

  2. Really nowhere to go but up for values around there. That said, crime is still an issue in that area that is going to scare off some prospective investors. It’s much better than it has been in the past but still a major issue IMO.

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