At Wally Fest, I had a chance to meet a number of people who work for The Phoenix of New Orleans, or PNOLA, a rebuilding organization that channels volunteers and resources to low income homeowners in New Orleans.
Based on Broad Street just blocks from the VA footprint, the organization focused specifically on rebuilding Lower Mid-City since Hurricane Katrina.
It was interesting to hear about Lower Mid-City from a different perspective. As individuals who had invested a great deal in bringing the neighborhood back after the storm, they had built up an intimate knowledge of the people and structures that comprise The Footprint.
I also learned that the building and repair moratorium for area, instituted in December 2007, did in fact expire at some point. I noticed that a building, an old store of some sort, directly across from Outer Banks Bar at the intersection of Palmyra and S. Tonti had very recently been spruced up and painted a bright salmon pink. It's not clear to me whether the owner is looking to use the building, or if he or she is merely taking advantage of the lack of moratorium to obtain a higher buyout price from the state when it comes down to expropriation. Here's a Google Streetview look at the building .
As a side note, it's interesting to peruse the Streetview images inside the footprint, as they all come from a time closer to Katrina where damage is much more extensive than one would see today.
Since I mentioned the state buyout, though, I should note...several properties in the VA footprint have been successfully purchased by the state in the past month. I hope to do a more extensive post focusing on those purchases and what they mean soon.