New Orleans hopes to redevelop incinerator site

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News,Business

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After sitting vacant for nearly 40 years, a city-owned incinerator site may find new life as a commercial development.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city is working with the Louisiana Land Trust to demolish the former incinerator property in the Algiers section.

New Orleans CityBusiness reported (http://bit.ly/1sapgil) business groups believe the tract at Hendee Street and General de Gaulle Drive can be redeveloped.

Landrieu spokesman Tyler Gamble said the city and Louisiana Land Trust are splitting a Community Development Block Grant to finance demolition of the metal incinerator. The work is expected to cost about $300,000 and should begin by summer.

Gamble said that once the structure is demolished, the city plans to issue a request for proposals for private development at the site of roughly 5.5 acres.

City officials expect to sell the site at fair market value and recoup demolition costs and other expenses in the process.

The city has partnered with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and the New Orleans Business Alliance to lead redevelopment of the property and help craft the request for proposals, which could be issued by early fall, redevelopment authority executive director Jeff Hebert said.

The authority and the New Orleans Business Alliance have been working since January on an analysis of the site to determine its best use, Hebert said.

Alliance CEO Rodrick Miller said the incinerator site's location near residential neighborhoods makes it a good candidate for a strip mall that could include a grocery store, restaurant or retail businesses.

"It's right on a major commuter route, and lots of people pass it daily," Miller said.

The site is also just across the parish line from a proposed $50 million hotel development in Jefferson Parish's Gretna community.

Hebert said seeing that project move forward helped advance plans for the incinerator site.

The incinerator closed in 1975. In recent years, it has been the target of scrap metal thieves.

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Information from: New Orleans CityBusiness, http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com

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