This meeting focused on the ongoing issues with the blighted NSA complex off of Poland Avenue. Tim Murphy from the Health Dept started out the meeting by telling us about a recent visit to the facility. Conditions are far from safe or healthy in the buildings, but they were relieved to not find any children or people in need of medical assistance. Superintendent Roman Nelson from the New Orleans Fire Department then told us about fires and other hazards on the property. Recent fires there were apparently started by burning trash. Our new District C councilmember Freddie King introduced himself and his staff and they offered their full support. Jeffrey Schwartz, the city’s Director of Economic Development introduced Peter Aamodt and Brian Gibbs from the MCC Group, which has plans to develop the property. They are still getting the financing finalized and hope to start demolition in the spring. The plan is for one of the three buildings to be turned into affordable housing. The middle building, which is a parking garage, will also be utilized. There are no plans yet for the third building, which is the one nearest the Industrial Canal. They currently have one security guard that patrols the property, but they are unarmed and can only observe activity there and call police if there are issues.
Many questions and concerns were coming up in the chat, more than we had time to get answers for! There is a great deal of frustration with the poor condition of the property and criminal activity potentially linked to the people camping out there, but the developers say development will start soon which would hopefully start to make the area safer. A video of the full meeting can be viewed below.