Dr. Edward Blakely, Executive Director of Recovery Management for the City of New Orleans, today announced the first 17 targeted recovery zones that will spur redevelopment and accelerate our recovery. The zones will be built around public assets in key business corridors in an effort to generate further private investment from developers.
Adding that New Orleans doesn’t “have a rich history of completing projects,” Blakely argues that instead of taking on several large projects, the city has opted to finance and complete seventeen relatively small ones. For once, I agree with him.
Two zones will be rebuilt, six will be redeveloped and another nine will be renewed. What do the three Rs mean?
Rebuild areas have experienced severe destruction of physical structures and social networks. These areas will require major rebuilding, or significant public and private investment in order to recover. Redevelop areas are places where some recovery components and resources are already present. They have a high potential for attracting investment and acting as a catalyst for further redevelopment and recovery of the affected community. Renew areas include specific projects that require relatively modest public intervention in order to supplement work already underway by the private and nonprofit sector.
Each development zone is approximately one-half mile in diameter, although the area can vary slightly. The first zones are:
1. New Orleans East Plaza
2. Lower Ninth Ward
1. Carrollton Avenue at Interstate 10
2. Harrison Avenue (Canal Boulevard to City Park)
3. Gentilly Boulevard at Elysian Fields
4. St. Bernard/ AP Touro at North Claiborne Avenue
5. Broad Street at Lafitte Greenway/Treme
6. South Claiborne Avenue at Toledano
1. Canal Street (Downtown)
2. Broadmoor (R. Keller Center and Library)
3. Tulane Avenue at Jeff Davis (Comiskey Park)
4. O.C. Halley Corridor
5. Bayou Road/Broad Street Cultural Corridor (Market Building)
6. St. Roch Street (Market and neutral ground)
7. Freret Street (Farmers Market)
8. R.E. Lee at Paris Avenue (Lake Terrace Center improvements)
9. Alcee Fortier Street (Street Beautification)
The recovery of all of these areas is a boon to New Orleans, but the ones most relevant to me are the renewal of Canal Street and the Oretha Castle Halley Corridor as they are very close to where I work and live. So, what do you think of this plan and do you think any of these projects will be accomplished and how? We must do something about these areas, but if we do, will they come?