Glynn Boyd's story, including an interview with Greg Guth, puts the demolition today into some perspective.
If you can't find the piece, search the videos for "Mid-City Bar Owner Is Appealing To The State Supreme Court Saying The Taking Of His Business Was Illegal-Glynn Boyd Reports 1/11"
Guth makes a good point in the course of the interview. LSU's power to take property for a public purpose would seemingly be dependent upon a demonstrable linkage to the ultimate public purpose. Yet the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) that comprised that linkage between the City and the State (basically a contract type agreement)...expired in August of this year, and has not, from what I can tell (especially after two public records requests in the fall) been renewed or replaced.
Very briefly (this is an overly simplistic illustration), the way things work on the VA site is as follows:
+ VA - Federal Agency - Ultimate Beneficiary, wants cleared site to build on
+ City of New Orleans - Obligated to clear and prepare site for VA under an agreement
+ LSU/State of Louisiana Div. of Facilities and Planning Control - City outsourced its obligations to clear and prepare to this entity; this entity does the actual acquisition and expropriation
+ Chief Contractor - Jacobs Engineering, works for State/LSU, oversee site preparation and clearance on the ground
+ Subcontractors - work on various aspects such as demolition, contamination or hazard removal, etc.
In the LSU Footprint, it's just LSU and the State (with the UMC Corporation Board to oversee the ultimate hospital) with contractors below. The house moving effort on the VA Footprint side of the project followed its own chain under Jacobs (with many attendant parties involved at various levels):
Builders of Hope
I welcome any comments that help to clarify these relationships, but as I said, this is just a highly reduced illustration to give people a sense of what's going on.