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Everything posted by JPKneworleans

  1. French Quarter Fest rebounds big time Posted: NEW ORLEANS — The 24th French Quarter Festival posted a single-day attendance record and nearly returned to pre-Katrina attendance levels. An estimated 425,000 festivalgoers included a record 208,000 people Sunday. The festival, which began in 1984, is the largest free music festival in the Southeast. Attendance nearly matched the pre-Katrina average of 450,000 after dropping to 340,000 last year. The festival also recorded a single-day historic high in attendance on Sunday with 208,000 visitors. French Quarter Festivals Inc. CEO Kathleen Alter said that no single day had ever exceeded 200,000. Fifteen stages throughout the French Quarter presented New Orleans music, representing every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to rhythm & blues and New Orleans funk, to brass bands, folk, gospel, classical and international. The Coors Light Stage even featured the Saturday nuptials of New Orleans trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. Nearly 60 food and beverage booths in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint made up the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch” featuring cuisine from area restaurants. The three-day weekend included the official FQF second-line parade, courtyard tours, a Pirate’s Alley Art Show and Gumbo Ya Ya’s “Guess the Weight of the World’s Largest Praline” contest. The event is produced by French Quarter Festivals Inc., a 501
  2. PLAZA TOWER From CityBusiness Developers go silent on Plaza Tower deal Posted: NEW ORLEANS - In 2005, plans were unveiled to convert the leaky, asbestos-riddled Plaza Tower at 1001 Howard Ave. into condos. City officials say it’s been months since they’ve heard from project developers. “I haven’t heard anything lately. It’s been awhile,” said Yolanda Rodriguez, executive director of the City Planning Commission. City officials say the last time they heard any news about the project was late last summer when developers went before the City Council to request use of the building’s property taxes to pay for half of a $27-million remediation. But two weeks later, the developers decided the property tax route wouldn’t generate enough money to make it worthwhile. Repeated calls to speak to developers were not returned. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said the last time it heard from anyone associated with the project was Dec. 13, when Tracey Dodd of U.S. Risk Management gave DEQ a 68-page remediation report, including environmental test results. DEQ scientist Duane Wilson said the agency granted the Plaza developers brownfield certification around Jan. 1. The federal program provides developers with tax credits for remediating properties containing hazardous substances. “The site has asbestos in it. You got broken windows and there is a potential for release to the environment,” Wilson said. Larry Hollier, chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center, said he has not heard anything on the building for several months. Hollier said he spoke earlier in the year to Plaza developers about possibly putting health care services in the building, such as an assisted living or nursing home facility. "Somebody had approached us about possible health care in there, but I don't know anything more about it," he said. Councilwoman Stacy Head, whose district includes the building, said she has heard “nada.” “My guess is that developers are redrafting their plans,” Head said.• JPK, in the future, please do not post entire articles. Instead, please just post the title and a link to the article, along with a shot quote if you like. Thank you very much! -NCB
  3. I completely agree, with respect to the court and with respect to Shreveport. Jeez...several of S-port's downtown streets are named for Texas war heros.
  4. I doubt it is accurate. There was an article in either CityBusiness or T-P a few weeks ago regarding condo projects. This was one of the projects that was being "re-evaluated." The article went on to say that there was some talk that some of the floors might remain off space and serve some function for LSU Health Sciences Center. That seems ridiculous, though, when LSU primary campus on on the other side of the interstate. I have a novel idea. Perhaps someone should just call the number listed for CCR on the website and just ask.
  5. Guys....Whatever happened to the highrise apartment building in downtown BR? I believe it was slated to be taller than the capitol. I haven't heard anything about it lately.
  6. Fond memories: I graduated from law school 13 years ago. (OUCH!)
  7. MORON ALERT: Max Malone, a legislator from Shreveport, has filed a bill to relocate the Supreme Court to BR.
  8. I was wondering about that building. It is at the corner of O'Keefe and Poydras. The parking lot was supposed to close in February or March because our employees had to switch lots. But, the lot is still open, although there's a Gibbs Construction sign against one of the fences.
  9. God I hope not. Harrah's is horrible. It would be nice to have something modern instead of "fake old", like the Astor Crown Plaza.
  10. FYI, according to an email I received from Trump's New Orleans website, first quarter '07 is being confirmed as the groundbreaking date. To my knowledge, though, the finals have not been submitted for review by City Planning.
  11. Who knows? If half of the projects on the drawing boards are built, Frommers and the other travel guides may be right: within 5 years New Orleans just may be one of the 5 biggest tourist desitations in the world. First, though, we must recall the do-nothing mayor.
  12. That's because the buildings themselves are very old...from the 30s, I believe. There are a few other "tall" buildings in Monroe that were built in the 80s. One is known as Premier Plaza, while the other is Chase Mortgage. Both are 10 or so floors.
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