Trashy Age

So, this monstrosity endeavors to be erected a scant four blocks from my house. On each drive or walk by the Coming Soon sign, I wonder: what the hell is a Tra├žage and, more importantly, WHO in this city is going to live there? While I tearfully and painstakingly admit to an 11-month sentence at the Saulet Apartments (and hated every single, last minute of it and got out the moment I found another suitable place), few move to this city looking to live in high rises that look like they belong in Destin or Punta Gorda.

According to City Business, “units range in size and price from roughly $200,000 for a 573- square-foot condo to $2 million for a 2,900-square-foot, two-story penthouse.” I get allergic smelling hay and just adore a penthouse view like the next Gabor, but not on Calliope between low warehouses and the old beauty of the Lower Garden District! The people who named this building should understand that le contexte est plus fort que le concept. In other words, the building doesn’t fit the local scenery, goes against the city’s required grain of affordable housing, will probably turn into urban blight borne by locals and makes no economic sense, even using the “what the market will bear” mantra. It ain’t no architectural marvel, either.

13 Comments so far

  1. Paulp (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

    They are doing the same thing on the River Road by the riverbend area in Jefferson. A double skyscraper condo complex. I’m not sure of the sizes and prices but I can bet you it will be empty for quite a while.

  2. jack (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

    Its right along the highway ramp and in a warehouse area, it fits in fine with the surroundings. And it is actually a pretty nice looking tower considering the majority of horrible midrise/highrise buildings going up in most cities. I don’t know how well it will sell in New Orleans, as you are right that most people don’t think highrise condo when going to new orleans to live, but as an attempt to bring that to the area it is really well done.

  3. chris (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

    are they really building this or is it contingent on them selling most of the condos beforehand? there have been several plans to build similar things and they always seem to fall through when they don’t pre-sell enough units. I’d be surprised of this thing ever comes to fruition. see also; vantage tower, plaza tower / crescent city towers, falstaff brewery, and so forth. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  4. termite (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

    thanks chris. ;) my thoughts exactly.

  5. Skippy (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

    Don’t forget Trump in your list of contingent condo developments… You know he’s not gonna spend his $$ to build a building unless he knows he’s gonna make a profit…

  6. Mystery Man (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

    The condos in this not-yet-constructed building are well over 50% sold (aka “reserved” w/cash deposits) already. Selling like hotcakes. Seriously. Why? Beats me.

  7. Puddinhead (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 8:07 am

    “The condos in this not-yet-constructed building are well over 50% sold (aka “reserved” w/cash deposits) already. Selling like hotcakes. Seriously. Why? Beats me.”

    Just a guess, but I’d think that the venerable “different strokes for different folks” ought to about cover it. Despite the general vibe I’m getting in the blogosphere, I’m thinking that the pre-sales mean that a lot of people who love the idea of living in New Orleans enough to plunk down some big bucks also love the idea of high-rise condo living. You know, there really isn’t a statute in New Orleans saying that every citizen must live in (or even want to live in) a restored shotgun, Victorian mansion, or at the other end of the spectrum, a public housing project. And intimating that those who DON’T desire to live in one of those situations don’t belong here and should just find someplace other than your city to live sort of smacks of the “America-love it or leave it” crowd.

    Just my unasked-for Downtown opinion, though…

  8. Jack Ware (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 11:11 am

    Ya know, the fact that anyone would even try this is a good thing to me. True, no one I know could afford to live there even if they were so inclined. But, if they can be sure they can make a profit the so be it. Might be that they could sell enough of them to corporations for various reasons that it’s a good deal. And I sort of think you’re over estimating the beauty and grandeur of that area (no offense). And as far as architecture goes, it’s sitting next to a warehouse (classy) and it really doesn’t look as bad as Dominion Tower and City Hall so I’m fine with it.

    Everyone knows I’m not a “preservation freak” and I’m not going to apologize for that even though I’m sure there are people who would say that I don’t deserve to live here since I have that attitude. Just my $0.02. You can’t have it both ways and say “we desperately need investment in the city” and then limit to any great degree what those investors can do. Those limits are what made New Orleans a business and technology vacuum and I’d like to see them go away a little. I mean, is it really *that* bad?

  9. Ray M (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

    High-tech jobs go to places that are attractive or have character or both, have a great deal of energy and nightlife or some sort of environmental attractions, etc. New Orleans has at least enough of the above to work. But what high-tech entrepreneurs and employers like most of all is human capital, and there isn’t enough of that here. Turning New Orleans into the architectural equivalent of Dallas won’t change that, and it’s incredibly short-sighted to imply as much. You have to build on the strengths you have.

  10. Scott Harney (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 9:03 am

    The agent who sold me my house in the LGD a few months back is in on this deal. Apparently Frankie Muniz dropped a big chunk o change on one of these units.

  11. 1000 Block Thalia Street (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

    Any investment in the neighborhood is welcome. While I appreciate the idea of trying to preserve the past, we don’t and can’t live in a museum. At some point craftsman style houses were viewed as the Tricage equivalent of ugly modern architecture by those living in Victorian style houses…time marches on. The LGD, especially the area behind Robert’s, desperately needs to be redeveloped. Any money coming into the immediate neighborhood makes that more likely, and makes me a fan, because I live there.

    What did you expect them to build, a 19th century warehouse replica?

  12. Maitri (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

    This is more an Eventual Urban Blight post than a true Preservation one. Like Chris said, see vantage tower, plaza tower / crescent city towers, falstaff brewery, Trump, etc. Can our current economy support the kind of jobs required to live in these condos? I have an oil job and can’t afford one (no bang for the buck).

  13. 1000 Block Thalia Street (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

    I have one of those swanky oil and gas jobs too, but just wouldn’t want to live in such a place. I understand the argument that the jobs here won’t support such an endevour and it will eventually become blight, I just don’t understand how. Because, if that’s really the case, then how can it already be over 50% sold…preconstruction? Who is buying these places? Apparently, someone has the money, and I don’t think it is real estate speculators.

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