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I've checked out Victory's projects months ago. Putrid shit barely covers my feelings about the designs.


they plan to leave it vacant for an extended period of time

Mr. Clio

I was born in that hospital (Mercy), so I guess I have some standing to speak on this.

On most of these "development" issues, I get pissed off by both sides. I don't understand the people in teh neighborhood (and in the media) who speak as though one must have a hospital a few blocks from one's house for "access to healthcare."

Huh? How long does it take to drive, ride a bus, or bike from Mid-City to downtown?

On the other hand, I don't have illusions about the intentions or aesthetics of the "developers." Carpetbaggers.

The thing that usually tips me over to being pro-"development" (as it were) is the vision of all those Orleanians who drive to Metairie or the Westbank to go to Target or Wal-Mart. Why not keep your tax money in Orleans?

If those stores are part of contemporarly living for people (right or wrong), why let Aaron Broussard collect the bucks?

Why do only people in the 'burbs deserve a cheap box of Tide? Why should people in Orleans pay the rip-off prices of convenience stores?

So I end up with the putrid developers. Gross, but an effective way to keep money in Orleans.


I did my first breast exam in that facility. Coincidently, it was also my first arrest.


The preservationist movement started in New York in response to the demolition of Penn Station, and New York's economy has been a basket case ever since. San Francisco and Boston have strict zoning laws, and the New Orleans economy puts their economies to shame.

The assertion that strict rules on development are holding New Orleans back is nothing more than a dubious assertion. Most of the nation's old port cities have geographical limitations on their ability to expand, yet many do better than New Orleans economically -- even with stricter zoning laws.

The idea that New Orleans should get the tax revenue from big box stores instead of Jefferson is understandable, but, IMO, mistaken. If you try to fit a large suburban-style retail development into a small urban space, you end up with traffic problems that make most people decide that it's easier to drive to Jefferson anyway. To get around that, you need to widen existing streets (I guarantee you that if the Victory development ever reaches the originally intended size, part of the Jeff Davis neutral ground will disappear) and you end up with a part of the city that looks just like suburbia. That's not just an emotional reaction, suburbia's do suburbia better than cities do. People that want to live or shop in Jefferson will just live or shop in jefferson and you'll end up with more blight.

I think that, in this case, the tendency of big box stores to drive out small stores could actually be exacerbated by the traffic problems, but that's just a guess. However, other cities have suceeded in getting large retailers to adopt to their zoning laws; there's no reason why New Orleans can't.

Finally, I've noticed for months now that Uptown residents (very broadly speaking to extend from the Riverbend to the Warehouse District) are far more likely to favor big box development in Mid-City than residents of Mid-city and surrounding areas. I hate to injct neighborhood parochialism into this, but it seems to be the case.

BTW, I'm aware that the first sentence is merely the New York version of history. I don't think any one city can claim the credit; New Yorkers tend to think everything originated in New York.


Meanwhile, a mile or so down Canal, LSU and the VA are teaming up to build a whole new mega-medical center from scratch -- right on top of most of the Tulane/Gravier neighborhood, which a number of dedicated volunteers have been working their butts off to rebuild these last couple of years.

If anyone can show me the logic in that, I'll stake him or her to a po'boy and an icy cold Abita next time I'm in town, though it doesn't look like that'll be for several months, at least.


The preservationist movement started in New York in response to the demolition of Penn Station, and New York's economy has been a basket case ever since. San Francisco and Boston have strict zoning laws, and the New Orleans economy puts their economies to shame.

This is sarcasm, right? By what measure is New Orleans's economy putting San Francisco's to shame?

BTW, when we lived in San Francisco and wanted to go to a big box store, we drove down to Burlingame. Big box didn't exist in SF. For that matter, SF didn't even have drive-though fast food or drive through ATMs. Most of the city is built based on the assumption that people are on foot.

I'm an Uptowner who would love to be able to drive to Mid-City to buy jeans and socks instead of Gretna, but I'd rather do it in an interesting building like the American Can Company than a suburban tiltwall monstrosity with vast surface parking lots.

Look at what Whole Foods did with their flagship store in Austin. It's a huge market, but it's pedestrian-friendly and is a boon to that corner, compared to what developers wanted to put there. But it took 10 years of fighting with developers to get the right development in. (Back in 1995 they wanted a Target and an AMC 8-plex theatre with all surface-level parking.)


I thought the sarcasm was obvious.


Sorry Ray, I was in a hurry when I wrote that last comment, didn't mean to be so curt. There's an assumption among many who are relatively neutral on development/preservation issues that there's a high cost for strong zoning laws and preservationist stances on the part of city governments. I think you and I would both agree that assumption is largely erroneous, or at least exaggerated. The example you bring up of Austin is a good one; I had it mind but couldn't remember who said it about what city when I made my earlier comment. I think that big box developers believe that poorer cities are more likely to give them whatever they want if they take an all or nothing line.


This is one of the ancillary problems of the zoning laws of New Orleans. Because you will ultimatley end up having to request approval from some official, be it CPC, BZO or City Council, developers tend to "ask for the world" so they have room to negotiate. Their is no reason to be reasonable with your proposal because you will be forced to give concessions to somebody so that person can look like they are a consciensous public official. Because the concessions are neither reasonable nor well thought out, you end up with some f**cked up version of what anybody wants.

The City Council needs to understand that the mere ABILITY to appeal causes this problem and pass a comprehensive zoning ordinance ASAP.


Penn Station was demolished in 1963-64, I believe, about the same time the Vieux Carre Expressway was proposed in New Orleans and attacked by preservationists. You could make as good a case for the battle for historic preservation beginning in NOLA as NYC, especially since in the former case preservationists won.


We're in agreement again Ray, that's why I included the last paragraph of my first comment. But I never really thought about the fact that we sucessfully saved the Quarter before they reacted to the loss of Penn Station. In general, I think New Yorkers get an undeserved bad rep, but god they're full of themselves.


Dat was a different Ray, BTW.


Oh. Funny, one of the reasons I adopted the long-winded BSJD moniker was to distinguish myself from other Davids, and you never see any commenting on N.O. blogs.

Superior Northerner

Really???? New Orlean's economy puts Boston's & San Francisco's to shame? Is that why New Orleans is still in shambles, YEARS after Katrina? You have an interesting idea of a "thriving" economy, I have to say! : )


you needed petimrs in the first place? A raised garden bed is hardly the kind of fixture a city employee would even understand much less figure out how to squeeze it into some tortured permitting scheme. Go without.


Tammy good for you. Move locations don’t pay the loaldnrd any more rent. Make sure you keep a log of your time with the City and the cost to move. The loaldnrd should not gain rent from you since the zoning is incorrect for your business activity. As a loaldnrd she should have known this but when it comes to cash (rent) this loaldnrd doesn’t care as long as she is paid. My thoughts if she applied to the City for a rezoning application this might take months for a hearing and she may get denied by City Council.I can’t understand why this city has to take everything to the OMB this cost us taxpayers money. We elect officials to make good decisions in this City that are suppose to be good for the citizens of Cambridge but this is not the case. The City does not handle the water bill issues correctly, Zoning Issues and yet when it comes to roundabout issues they cop out and state this is a regional issue.Yes that’s what they all have stated in an email to me.I have been waiting for your answer on the zoning issue to let the public know that presently I have an issue with a neighbour on my street.The neighbour has a scrap yard business running next door and I have complained to the Zoning Department for the past 3 months. They had over 60 cars piled up next door and currently running a towing business that is not zoned for this location. I am upset that the contamination from these vehicles could spill onto my land and explained that if I have any issue with my land I will proceed to court with the City and the Neighbour this is dating back to approx 2009. It took a City official Zone officer 3 months to have these vehicles removed and still today there is several scrap cars located on this property. Let me tell you the operation of the towing company is still active. I have emailed the zoning department on several occasions requesting a letter and photos and the process of correcting this zoning issue. NO reply not even from Rick Cowsill.Is makes me sick to think they are demanding you to move a Video Store but are allowing scrap cars and a towing company to continue business not actively zoned correctly. Next I will be sending emails for you all to read! I think they are ignoring me and that I will just go away and if you look back at the election donations the neighbour donated to several candidates. I need information on what does an Official Zoning officer earn, the whole department. They have a job to do and these city officials are not working for the best interest of the public. This seems to be a political plot. I will send the documents to every news paper in the region and Tammy if you have some information on the Zoning/City officials I would appreciate as much information as I can get. Citizens of Cambridge imagine Video Store vs. Scrap Car-towing Company operating an active business in the City of Cambridge illegally zoned.


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