Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

May 2, 2007

A Park vs. A Shopping Mall

I enjoy reading the New Yorker’s “New Orleans Journal”. Yesterday’s entry concerned a trip down the Lafitte Corridor  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 Dick’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. What’s more, it might end the dream of the Lafitte Corridor. But, as Geoff put it, “This is a hard time for the City Council to say no to anyone who wants to drop tens of millions of dollars.” 

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.


  1. Shopping there could be great, just not the style and scale of development that Victory was talking about. The question is, does Victory have the skillz to do it any other way?

    Comment by Editor B — May 3, 2007 @ 10:22 am

  2. Go to Victory’s website. Everything they do or have done looks like the worst strip mall you could envision. It’s got that “2 years past its prime” look from day 1.

    And I’m not believin’ you called it a Trolley line. You lived in SF way too long, babe.

    Comment by Ashley — May 4, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

  3. Guys, my prob with Victory’s plans are that it’s going to be a mall. I’d prefer to see stand-alone stores along Carrollton utilizing the open spaces. (Traffic stuffs) And yes I went to Victory’s website some time ago… looks like SoCal or Coral Springs type strip malls. Ugghhhhh….

    Ashley, I’m a rail nut, and Trolley is a catch-all term for electric railcars. (Unfortunately my library on trolleys and railcars perished in the Federal Flood.)

    Comment by Morwen Madrigal — May 4, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

  4. Actually, every day I was away from New Orleans was one day too many.

    Comment by Morwen Madrigal — May 4, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

  5. why build there when you could build Anywhere else? everybody wants to be close to the cities tour attractions. why not just build where all was lost and nothing has returned? .. Like at strip on Paris and Maribu (sp)

    Comment by Book — May 8, 2007 @ 4:51 am

  6. Book,

    Paris at Mirabeau is not large enough for Victory, and it’ll be a really hard sell for the folks there.

    The rest of my thoughts on this matter will be in the next post here.

    Comment by Morwen Madrigal — May 8, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

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