Sunday, January 29, 2006

Got Mustard Out?

Now that the "Baker Bill" is on life support, developers with deep pockets are descending into town with real estate agents in tow. They are all looking for good deals on flooded homes. While the market is offering opportunities for middle-income people to buy into neighborhoods otherwise out of their price range, these developers are upping the ante freezing out the locals.

I'm not sure if this is good or bad. It's probably both. I know the local's don't like being out bid by some young kid from out of state who has a rich daddy, but by investing their money into the region, the local's don't risk investing their money into property that may be surrounded by blighted property. I have no problem in developers thaking the risk. On the flip side, an individual wanting to buy, may also be interested in making modifications to suite their needs. With a developer, they'll have to settle with what he think the market wants.

My own concern is that these developers will rebuild without knowledge of the local flavor of the architecture of New Orleans and change the mosaic of house styles to something more akin to assembly-line architecture. If a suggestion could be made to these individual developers, don't purchase blocks of houses in close proximity to each other, spread out your work. This will allow different developers own style to be intermixed with others, thereby creating a different mosaic, but mosaic nontheless. Also, to local historians and organizations such as the HDLC or the Preservation Resource Center.

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