Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NOAH and VA Hospital busted

Compare the demolitions to the VA map. Notice a pattern? Someone in C-Ray's administration has used inside information on the VA hospital to strategically demolish properties that will be valuable in the future. That person or a partner in crime will buy up the properties and redevelop them after millions of federal dollars are spent.

Prima facie evidence of a huge corruption scheme that tore down people homes for a profit. Whoever buys these properties will be in on the crime. Wait and see.

Good job, Leigh, Karen, et. al.

Also, I think that the refurbishing of Big Charity would be far more economical (and end up with a far superior final product) than this bloated, Nagin-backed project. Renovations wouldn't be cheap, but the base construction is so sturdy, the final building would be stronger, more aesthetically pleasing and cheaper to the taxpayer.


Anonymous said...

A few isolated residential lots (still owned by the individual people) are worthless to any developer seeking to do anything more than build a few infill houses.

I keep saying it...for there to be a land grab, there has to be land, and someone actually grabbing it. Note: the VA/Charity site is what a land grab looks like. Otherwise, no one's grabbing much of anything.

Clay said...

Someone within Nagin's administration was using insider knowledge of the VA hospital proceedings to organize demolitions of the area. That's the evidence of Google Map with all the pushpins.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Celcus, it does look like entire blocks of Bienville and some surrounding streets are being razed, but it might be more informative to look at property transfers -- I don't know how much of that can be covered up with counter letters. It might have been more profitable for insiders to buy up blocks of existing houses and renovate them, since I can't see anybody getting the financing for large apartment developments. Is it cheaper to build a new double (or four-plex) or renovate, on average? Of course, that wave of demolitions began before the credit crisis, so somebody could have planned something larger.

As I see it, the evidence in support of (for want of a better term) a conspiracy theory is: the secrecy preceding the announcement of the plans to move the location. Blakely's excuse that it was to keep developers from buying up land in the proposed area and driving up the price leads one to wonder whether it was to allow developers to buy up land near the proposed site. Nagin insider, Cesar Burgos was part of the group purchased the city hall annex in Oct. 2006, and the disproportionate number of demolitions in the area. Celcus is right, it would be informative to see what's left or how connected the demolished properties are to each other.

Still, this whole VA thing is an example of why get flustered with NOLA bloggers. This information has been out there for over a year. Somebody else pointed out the Burgos connection (since it was easy to miss in the reporting) in 2007. I noted the demolition connection at around the same time -- I didn't make it very clear, certainly not even hinting at stolen ideas. I don't understand making a bigger deal out of it after the plan is approved than when it was proposed. Yes all those connections were buried deep in several different stories, but in a city with one daily newspaper and over 300 bloggers, what are those bloggers trying to do if not draw attention to the items that the paper ignores?

Anonymous said...

All of these vast conspiracy theories leave out two important points.

These lots have not been expropriated; they are owned by individual people and locked in the same succession and ownership issues as any other piece of dirt in the city. To assemble even the entire street front of one block would be extremely expensive and time consuming and quite frankly, hardly worth the effort.

Next, they are zoned residential. If you had assembled the parcel, you've got city planning, et al to make the change, a wholesale rezoning from residential to something else. I have never in twenty years in this city seen that happen, ever, nor have I seen it even suggested. A change from commercial to residential (a “good” change by most measures) is typically met with bitter and very public opposition and is always a long and expensive process. In case you all missed it, a recent vote made that possibility even harder.

Okay, so "they" might renovate, or build new infill houses...Am I missing something, or isn't that a good thing? And then, the big developer illuminati doesn't do that sort of thing. The smaller local developers do.

As for Canal street and Tulane, what you have is a shell of commercial property fronting the streets. Few even extend the entire depth of the block (I would post a link to the zoning maps if such a link existed). To do the highrise big box condos, again, you need to assemble the parcels and meet the same issues.

Now, if I was a developer or real estate investor would make a whole lot of sense to buy those commercial lots, which are in a lot of cases underused and even derelict for smaller scale development. I have no doubts that some had or were given the inside track. But outside of those fishy deals, there really isn’t anything sinister or surprising about it. Quite frankly, I can't get worked up over someone replacing a boarded up gas station that had been converted to a muffler shop and converted into a nail boutique with a small medical office building, though I am told I should.

I find the whole conspiracy theory to be a bit nutty. What everyone seems to fear is something that just doesn't happen. Find me an example. Find me just one that matches this situation, and I'll eat my words. But for a developer to even attempt it, you are talking about a lot of time and expense, as well as a very public fight for a developer. Which is everthing they avoid like a vampire avoids crosses, garlic and sunlight.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Come on, Celcus, conspiracy theory? I said ages ago that Nagin Adminsitration secrecy would lead to all sorts of conspiracy theories by people who were unhappy with rebuilding decisions. I also that they'd all be justifiable unless they could be factually refuted -- I can find the exact quote if you want. You seem to have done a good job of refuting this particular one, but I really don't think that a loaded term like "conspiracy theory" is at all accurate when there's unjustifiable secrecy surrounding the spending of so much public money.

Personally, I find the effect that the term "conspiracy theory" has on public discourse a bit nutty. If the use of the term had the same effect on legal proceedings that it has on political discourse, we'd never have any RICO prosecutions. Not that that would be such a bad thing.

Because of the unnecessary secrecy of the last two or three years, the "cui bono" question should be asked about every Nagin Administration proposal, and even most rebuilding proposals that seem to come from other sources, even if that leads into "conspiracy theory" territory.

Anonymous said...

David, you have a point. If only Nagan were as transparant as the Warren commission.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Well, I am sure that conspiracy theories about the rebuilding of New Orleans will still be going strong in forty-five years, but I doubt that any will include the Cubans or the CIA. Organized crime might be another story.