In the News

The Times Shreveport


Lex Talamo, Alexa.Talamo@shreveporttimes.com

8:06 p.m. CST November 29, 2015

The splintered steps leading up to 719 Pickett St. slant dangerously to one side. The faded gray door groans open to reveal an interior of broken beams, crumbling walls and pockmarked floorboards littered with debris, lighters, empty beer bottles and broken glass.

A pile of old tires, a broken TV and the rusted hatchback of a vehicle blight the spacious backyard. A red and white notice declares the building unfit for human habitation.

Terrence Green, assistant director of Shreveport's Property Standards, stands amidst the rubble and swats at mosquitos with one hand.

"This building will be gone before the end of the week," Green said.


Gardens grow on vacant lots throughout the city


Nov. 26, 2015; 11:18 a.m.


Marie St. Germain-Louis walked next door to a garden where a plant with broad leaves was growing. She leaned over and rubbed one of the plant’s long stalks.

“See this one here, the collard greens?” she said. “If nobody else picks that, I will make that for Thanksgiving this year.”

Odds are, Thanksgiving tables across New Orleans will be drawing more than ever from this type of hyper-local bounty, thanks to both a growing vogue for raising and eating local produce and post-Katrina programs that put vacant lots into use as gardens. The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority has leased at least 80 such gardens through its Growing Green program, which selects lots that are oddly shaped or located in less desirable locations.





The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority sold all 64 vacant properties up for grabs in its first online-only auction, with winning bids totaling $2.9 million, officials announced Wednesday.

 More than 160 bidders participated in the auction, which was held Nov. 9-10.

NORA partnered with Hilco Real Estate LLC to conduct the auction, as it has for past in-person auctions. The agency has held such auctions periodically as it continues to pare down the thousands of abandoned Road Home properties it took over after Hurricane Katrina.


By Robert McClendon, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune 
on November 19, 2015 at 11:14 AM, updated November 19, 2015 at 11:39 AM

Fernando Palacios was skeptical when officials with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority asked him to set up an online-only auction for their upcoming property sale.

Palacio's company, Hilco Real Estate, had done well in previous auctions by taking a hybrid approach. There was a live auction room, but people could bid via the internet if they wanted to.


BP money part of ambitious $532M plan


City officials hope to use New Orleans’ share of a settlement stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster to help fund a series of coastal restoration projects — part of a half-billion-dollar package of initiatives they have proposed in an effort to secure hundreds of millions in grant money from the federal government.

 The wide-ranging plan, which includes some projects that already are underway, is spelled out in the city’s application to the National Disaster Resiliency Competition, a federal grant program that will award a total of $1 billion to communities across the country that are working to improve their ability to respond to disasters.

The New Orleans application totals about $532 million, more than half of which officials hope would come from the competitive federal grant. The BP money, FEMA grants and funds from the Sewerage & Water Board and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority would make up the city’s share of the package.


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