I enjoy reading the New Yorker’s “New Orleans Journal”. Yesterday’s entry concerned a trip down the Lafitte CorridorÂ which many of us here in the City would like to reclaim as a walking park as opposed to it’s current use: a three-mile long junkyard. As I read further into the piece a sickening thought hit me: the Victory development group wants to build their retail center right through the heart of the Corridor!
Sure enough, as I read on, this conversation pops up in the article:
“A Georgia developer called Victory Real Estate Investments is trying to get permission from the City Council to hollow out twenty acres of mid-city in order to build a suburban-style shopping mall, which would bisect the Lafitte Corridor. As currently proposed, the site would include a hundred-ninety-thousand-square-foot Target, an eighty-thousand-square-foot Dickâ€™s Sporting Goods, an eighty-thousand-square-foot Bed Bath & Beyond, a fifty-thousand-square-foot book superstore, and more than a hundred and thirty thousand square feet of other shops, surrounded by twenty-five hundred sun-baked surface parking spaces. For a city as pedestrian-friendly as New Orleans, it is a stunningly wrongheaded idea. Whatâ€™s more, it might end the dream of the Lafitte Corridor. But, as Geoff put it, â€œThis is a hard time for the City Council to say no to anyone who wants to drop tens of millions of dollars.â€Â
Now, I knew that Victory was planning retail development in Mid-City, but I didn’t realize that they wanted to build one massive project as described above. This is NOT what we need here in the City, especially in the Mid-City area. This will become a blight on the landscape, an ugly paw of the suburban mindset clawing it’s way into our quaint little landscape. The traffic alone cannot be handled by our small streets, and Carrollton with the trolley line, will become a nightmare. Our infrastructure is not set up for this kind of development.
I say that Phase One of the Corridor project should start today, and that all concerned citizens of the City stay on the asses down at City Hall to force Victory to change it’s plans and come up with a more decentralized shopping scenario.