Karen and I both got our instant grits on today when we saw the properties here as part of the agenda for Monday’s NCDC meeting. I emailed a “?” and she picked up the subsequent call with a fast, “What the fuck?” She tried to backtrack with a “Hello, how are you?” I wasn’t up for the pleasentries. I said, “No apologies necessary, any sense of urgency in this city is much appreciated on my end.” Neither of us are “from here”, so we’ve always worked together very well because we can skip the ‘Hello, it’s Karen, how are you?’ part of the conversation and get to the issue at hand!
After our brief discussion, we both went over to the 8th Ward ASAP to get a look at this unbelievable prospect to see if it was for real. Half a block, in the middle of a neighborhood, potentially gone. The neighbors I spoke to weren’t happy. They could see the tires and abandoned/stolen cars which would immediately replace the three structures. One neighbor said, well, “Maybe they are unable to pay the taxes?” But I pointed out that they are a church and don’t pay any property taxes. One person suggested they are tired of boarding up the door on the side of the church. . . still, not reason to tear down half a block of very sturdy, pretty significant buildings.
This issue sits along side a number of other high profile demo requests for Monday’s NCDC meeting; There are a handful of Louisiana Land Trust properties (see photos) which should be sold “as is” as NORA acquires them and before they request demolition. We also have another application for a CVS going in where the Quiznos sits at Napoleon and S. Claiborne Ave right across from the Walgreens. I am somewhat amazed at the prospect of handling another pharmacy on Claiborne Avenue Uptown, while some three downtown grocery stores in the 6-9th wards, (Circle, Robert’s and Winn-Dixie and others), remain shut since the flood.