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WWL>Topics>>10-30-13 2:10pm Angela: on Bywater

10-30-13 2:10pm Angela: on Bywater

Oct 30, 2013|

Angela talks with John Guamieri and Mandy Pumilia of the Bywater Neighborhood Association about developments in their neighborhood.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well every neighborhood in New Orleans has taken on new meaning since Katrina. They're more organized more proactive. And more together as neighbors. And it -- made a huge difference and each of them. Today we're looking at a neighborhood that continues to evolve by water. And are joined by the president of the -- water neighborhood association. Mandate Camellia. And John. One Bahrain. But that's right I say that right and aren't at -- who is chairman of the board for the last five years. -- -- having worked on rampart street for almost forty years. I have I've literally had watched the evolution of your area and it's very exciting especially the arts district which is incredible we'll talk about. But for all of our listeners would you first give me sort of the boundaries of -- there. Good afternoon hello it's actually. Fallen historic. Designation boundaries. So you're looking at. Charters at the ripper and then the railroad tracks -- street and then all the way to learn nine. And then the boundaries eggs and bags when she crossing -- so their places where it goes very far. Across saint -- and there are other places where it's just a few blocks. It is an exciting place to live. Very exciting. You know I love it I was born and raised in New Orleans but spent. Twenty years away -- When I was in another city people we're talking about I ordered him bush swears by water because growing up it was just the Ninth Ward. And I moved back to New Orleans in 1998 in -- by water and there was this real subculture of artists and musicians and all of sudden it moved in there. And it was so it was very exciting time to be there at the very beginning who lives there now. I'd say it's there's a film people. T people ha. Musicians. Artists. And a lot of this young professionals. From that have moved and a lot since Katrina. Not people from other cities have wanted to be part of my New Orleans Cindy the growth that not only by order has been experiencing but the intensity. And it's significant number of longtime homeowners but in my water you know 4050 years or more. And that's a great -- yeah when you can have -- and the new. What type of damage to jewel city. I live right off saint Claude avenue and I had. About three feet of water. In my house but my house has raised but he came and went really really fast. But in a block away closer towards the river from my house there was no water. And -- lives on royal street and on one street and -- I didn't have any water at all we didn't even have water in our street. But -- the area did. Portions of course yes and when you -- ninth sport yeah so portions I would say. All the way to maybe. Dauphin street had signature again it's you know impact the water. But. But beyond there usually eat there really wasn't much and it is that Jim comic history the old SP CA is that in my water yes that's concerned about. -- that there's. Damage after -- -- in north of saint Claude avenue -- you cut farther from the river right they have been -- levels yes there was quite significantly and this is where the musicians villages this is where. But make it right. Is that considered by water that's been the lower ninth but they are crackers some houses in musicians' village would be. The on and it would be beyond filers boundary okay. Okay I'm just four for people listening who what what area are we talking about a bit like you're sending our people live here for decades in what is by water. But again I think some incredible things are happening in my water and before I left the station I did. I didn't actually get to do the story but I met with a number of the art galleries that were starting out. And you could just sense their excitement about creating this arts district which is very very impressive. They're on both. Arts district is something fairly new. That the -- and a -- association created even as they've been artists many good for many years. We felt it was really important to establish an arts and cultural district -- lexicon avenue. Sank on avenues. It's still. Real spotty as far as development is still a lot of abandoned businesses. So when we crafted the arts and cultural district overlay which was modeled on the correct street hopefully. Artists who were there with us to help craft the language. That was ultimately Papa -- approved by City Council and is now law so that's going to be a real -- Incentive for you know of new galleries and restaurants and hopefully revitalizing on happening. I just declare viola Johnson the the arts scene on decline has been happening for quite awhile and it is an organized group. The -- -- arts district. Is. Has been organizing for some time and we've seen a lot of growth. And galleries and independent artists that are along that corridor. Tell me about other businesses that have popped up since Katrina. Lot of restaurants. A lot of the restaurants have. Moved into what used to be corner grocery stores. And that it to some extent has been a real challenge because the way the zoning has been and the city if you were there through -- non conforming use -- it -- shoe store and it became abandoned for longer than six months. If it was an already zoned commercial it would revert back to residential. So that's something that we continue to deal with but on the properties that are zoned like B one B one may receive one. They can go into there into these hold corner stores and make him restaurants and then they have to apply for. In many cases. Conditional use for a liquor licenses and all restaurants they need to have a liquor license that's their profit. That was another battle that we really faced. Collide in by water. What what would you say. We're talking about the new people in the film industry people etc. And the a lot of those aren't you know that's. But that some of the people who came in to help and then have decided to stay which is very very exciting. What other elements do you think has kept sort of breathed new life into the community. -- -- We have a lot of children in the community a lot of young people have taken advantage. First time home buyer opportunities. And they're having children so we have a lot actually done children in the community and I don't think. You know for a really long time there have been many children in the community. So we have to elementary schools. Utilizing the same building on Franklin avenue old Nichols high school oh yes and they're utilizing. The that building right now while Charles drew the building across street is under construction. That -- a lot of life into the community so. That school is now housing to elementary schools yes well bluster or just too great. -- that is great. I want everybody to stay with us we're talking by water we'll be right back this is Angela under the W well. We are talking about by high water of very very special neighborhood. That has truly I keep using the word evolving but it's sort of Renaissance. And what's very good to hear is that young people moved in and yet you're. Veteran neighbors are also there and so you've got a great mix. And some other exciting things are -- the formal as nation perhaps of this beautiful art arts district. For the artist -- have been their for a long time along saint Claude happen. Let's talk about this crescent park them. -- -- the news for a long time an -- of what is crescent park it is from we're aware. Crescent -- this particular phase is phase one of something that was called -- very profound vision 2005. Which was going to. Give the citizens of New Orleans access to the Mississippi River that extends from Poland avenues to Jackson avenue. The first phase was by water because I think that the budget to do that was. The least amount I think about two with thirty million dollars in there really wasn't much to do there. Outside of like landscaping and site work so with that. What started me -- in 2009 go to 2010. It was approved and it was done under the previous administration. And the -- -- beautiful it's been complete now probably for a couple of months. And unfortunately this city does not have an operator for that park so we have a part that was. Completed. And citizens do not have access to it. When the operator what do they need to operate. Just as -- -- park is maintains. And cared for. It's the same situation you have to have someone and -- can maintain the park care for it whether it's grass cutting or. Litter abatement war security city who doesn't know the city doesn't city the city has a property management department that they don't specialize in specific properties like that so they might hire the parks and park -- his apartment to cut the grass and and maintain certain portions of it. But overall you have to have someone who was operating -- park. So the most recent. You know development has been that the city is in negotiations and discussions with the French market corporation and we really hope to hear. Positive news coming out of that to -- especially -- something and then not be able to open it. Sort of a -- state well. -- I ordered -- association has gotten quite a bit of time. He'd had some questions about it because you know people wanna know what's going on and we don't know I think. A lot of times people and I would think that we are they know all -- all and rule but we we're not breed. Make recommendations and we try to work with all this city officials to make things happen. And when we don't get cancer is sort responses to our questions. You know we -- on the firing line from people you know who is your City Council person and Kristin Palmer. And if -- is she in communication with you yes absolutely. And so is it she's just saying we have to go to the process of trying to get this out I it's it's at this point it is a process. The city had to define. What the items were that needed to happen with then some sort of cooperative endeavor agreement. And then once they're able to define that they can take that out and say you know. We we are actively pursuing an operator. I walk a lot along the river south of downtown. And power walk a -- beautiful by the aquarium all the way down to a governor Nichols street war. That is a sidewalk is that what this is your park and now it is real. In easy to -- it's time this landscaping at piety there is constructed but we call the rusty rainbow which is his iron. Bridge that looks like an -- that goes over the railroad tracks of my public belt railroad in goes into the park. And this their walkways as a 121000. Square foot dog run that was placed in there. The old piety war that burned down after Katrina has been turned into account. With pitches like it feel like a performance area with. All masonry wall backdrop we could have like -- movies I mean it's truly fabulous. And I think one of the problems. Of opening the park. Really stems from the commander -- wharf. Because I think in the original design that was going to be used for public events whether it's concerts. Parties or whatever and there's been a lot of opposition by the residents of marry any too because it was concerned about you know parking and traffic in what was going to happen. In in the city had an issue another of request for proposal for the access to the -- to -- war so. That delay is affecting our opening in a position is like look up parts done put up a fence and let -- get into a parking let. You know worry about that and play it. There isn't there is a complete redesign had to take place for the Mandel wharf the original plans had it. Had the access going over top of the river and you know the the port of new Moreland says. Riverboat folks and Homeland Security said you know about -- not we can't have bats so they had to. Change the design and then put that piece back out to did defines who went to construct that component of it. That's that's one of the -- primary access points. And -- do you have the Port of New Orleans -- the Army Corps of Engineers you have -- built railroads say you have every agencies. That you need to have coordinated so that things will work I mean there are. Art floodgate floodwall gates that would allow access the park and the gates are shot and I'm not supposed to be. We were told that some of those -- will be open so people could. In at the park and. It's just as they are. All while Albert park in eighty and one is French Quarter and and and crossed right there at the floodgates are open. Ours were always open until after is often work and not to and but it sounds -- it's you know it's all beautiful it is what it is they're going to be parking. Yes there are some parking I think there is street. In various parking an amazing man it's. And that will be parking. I believe right around the area where. You come off of Decatur street and turn -- to charters right and that action right there across from. The part is you know to bring that. To bring our -- People to the river -- -- really took the 1984 -- fair I was here when it was it would walk down and now it's life. Life is on the river and it's just not going to extend into your neighborhood but we'll keep we'll keep in touch about the opening. If we can talk a little bit about some other challengers face. One of our biggest challenges since then for the whole entire downriver community living with now. Services. One of those services that we desperately need in the grocery store. And we haven't had winds from October 29 2000. And that's a hardship on community. You know not having access of the products that you need a lot of people have come into the community and tried to fill the holes you know mark. Some of our corner groceries have really stepped up another place open in the Mary Meehan and relief. Has filled that need him. We've had a -- co -- opened but again that full service capacity grocery store is way our community called them amber. In the Lower Ninth -- You know is really really need and as an organization do you approach the various grocery stores and say. Let's talk we have meetings we've we've over the years with talked with Canseco has. We've. Consulted with -- says several times early on sterling arms we spoke on it and it really enabled at excerpts of what is your population and I'm sure that's with that's the problem now. All of the news. Stores may be able to bear market analysis and paid to the market analysis of by water and they have their method of doing -- in the numbers come back to. You have enough people. And I don't know what would you not really that's been a stumbling block an hour -- -- 2010 numbers which as you know I mean that's reduce the amount of federal funds that -- -- -- -- so. And we know we have a lot more people than Matt. It's difficult with the when you look at a place like the CBD. Yeah there's a huge burst restore a beautiful grocery store right there and I mean how many people live in the CD maybe 3500. I don't know more than that while it is more than that. Let me -- for one who lived on years since I've lived here twenty years ninth during. We begged for grocery -- just like you are and look how long it took but it just to me it would be good business even if they tailor it may be make it smaller. Four to a comedy but still have the full service and a grocery store is essential. Well for years by water and Marion probably part of the French Quarter was serviced by what used to be issuing went on in the nation feels in saint Claude then later became we're bears. It had significant damage after Katrina. The property was held up for years in legal issues. It's still vacant. You know we. Think it was resolved but you know even if they started something tomorrow it would be another couple Beers we -- -- grocery store sent out people from my -- -- to. They're you know the -- BD four. Groceries or. You know fortunately -- sorry that's -- it kind of grocery store as a pick up probably 45 within a mile radius. But for all those entrepreneurs out there are you hearing what they're saying stay with expert and continue our talk on by water but now let's go to the newsroom and -- rose. It's a happening place were talking -- water and I am so happy to hear about this crescent park along the river. That is finished and gorgeous and work of art but not opened so we need to get that place. Let's talk about what we talk about with every neighborhood and that is an ongoing problem streets. And issues with driving down street. The thing when Earl Clark had to have the rear suspension replace. And -- hasn't dropped. That I up up I thought. So yes street repairs is it's beyond street repair at this point it's street replacement. We we talked with city officials. About this. You know the bottom line as we need more revenue coming in the city we -- sustainable streams of revenue to be able to do the -- work that we need to do you. That would probably what we heard in the past 45 years behind -- right where I mean we're talking billions with a B not millions. So. We really have to take a look at that and and think about how we use our roads and which ones need to be repaid demand you know. If you get in the pecking order of who needs street repair and replacement. Where. You know lake -- number one probably. Unknown to them -- technical know what I'm saying is that they needed desperately as well and that they have. They've been really organized about how -- I'll look at that in the process -- -- ask for. The the monies for street repair and replacement in the in the city budget planning process which. Happen you know earlier this year and now -- were actually in the budget hearing process -- the budget has been allocated and and that's you know. What needs to be done and and you know some of the other attacks that took place on our streets. Itself was on. You know surgeon water -- had a lot of work that they had to go and then do -- repair leaks and an old infrastructure. And then Entergy had to come through in and -- repairs as well also you know there certain streets and Tyler there are very very difficult to drive down and -- I have to -- quite frankly. I have to avoid them now. And being in the repairs that were done the budget for that did not include. A lot of the repairs that was a quick fix and the only money that the city seems to have for a street repairs was -- related because otherwise the city has no. Budget to -- street work. You know -- sentiment thing we need. A better revenue stream and maybe that's another whole show. But we forget that we don't have enough money coming from an event that -- talk about stand by my -- -- LEDs. And I have to say the last month cultural port one and which by the way if you don't call -- and went report here. Opera in street lights it was it was were replaced with -- 24 hours. Very you know we've we've seen their. We've seen really -- you know action around street lights went about crime. Well. You know we're fortunate we have the fifth district. Bright and -- water. Until they may have to their new home which is their old home cooked at. And you know crime has gone up and down over the years. You you know based on economic factors you see different things like break and then armed robberies and things like that but. I have to say we're pretty fortunate we we don't have the crime that we had you know. Even ten years ago in the community and people really vigilant there's a lot of people walking the streets I mean one thing about opening businesses and filer that has been. An enormous perk. Has been that you have more people on the street all the time which deters criminal activity. The more walk Kabul sustainable you make a community. The more. Unlikely it is for crime to be committed. You live -- times you've seen those ups and downs. -- completely it's you know for many years people would not leave their homes after would not leave their homes have to dark. Now like Randy said people out walking their dogs in an evening's. It's become a much more of five per community. You know we're really really happy with the but with that you know we have to walk that fine line of on. On making sure that we maintain the on fabric of what by what is which is you know it's. Artist community and we don't want to lose that edge and you know we have to be careful of what's perceived as being mentioned your vacation. Yes oh yes well you know what we're gonna come back we're gonna talk about. Something you were saying in a commercial which is the good news bad news and that is the the price of homes. And now the need for homes right after this. We are talking to these leaders in by water and a lot of exciting things happening there but among them. The house the value of homes has just skyrocketed and that's a wonderful thing but also there's a downside. Yeah it's you know people that have been residents of Iowa for many many years targeting to the point where. They feel that the being priced out of the market with the increase of -- homeowners insurance flood insurance. Also. Property taxes and for many many years gone in -- across the city homes were not accurately. I'm assessed that the true value so for many years people went by paying property tax. On a 50000 dollar of assessed home now all of a sudden it's. You know 250000. Dollars in the face with significantly higher property tax bills. And the influx of people especially from out of town who have lived in communities where even at our highest would be low for them. You know people from a Los Angeles and New York it's and that's what I was saying earlier about trying to maintain that balance between keeping the essence of what. Is attractive about by water so that when I'm getting. You know and an influx of people that is going to put our funk factor in jeopardy we wanna keep the phone can Butler. Fun and -- yeah. I think that's it's very important if it's the essence of the neighborhood. And you can make things better that you don't wanna lose the very core of who you mark. Exciting times what other issues facing. Well. You know the the the affordability. Is an issue. Across across across the gimmick because. You're looking at very high -- and other analysts apply. So that's another you know issue around driving up housing prices. And it's it's really vital that we started them find strategies. So that we can. You know support the people who want to live in the community and tried to maintain some level. You know. Cost balance. On on all levels. But you don't have much -- We don't we have worked very very diligently with the city of New Orleans with a lot of success. No part of having a vibrant neighborhood makes people wanna come home. So that that's one factor and other factors that we formed like committee. Several years ago and word vary vary. Focused on -- identifying which homes replied it. And either tracking down the homeowners or reporting them through the city's processes. And then. You know successfully getting them to share sale. Or. Having you know the -- and -- -- fines and leans. Put on the homes. Which way you know force the hand of the homeowner to to do the work that they needed to do the whole end game being let's bring this home back in the commerce -- It is silent let it go tear it down to what -- -- we don't tear down where an historic district. But the -- and live. Yeah and you know that's bringing back today it's you know original greatness. Before we have just like 45 seconds but I know that one of the things. Is an issue of the litter and -- Talk. Well New Orleans and general has a challenge with throwing things out the window. We we need to be more conscientious. Where are garbage goes. And I don't know if that's our you know our -- street. A unit only serve and to -- -- -- -- -- mentality. And then you know there's there's an issue with people picking up after their pants. So. We really wanted to constantly remind people to be angry citizens. And and that's right and we love to have our pets but there is a responsibility. And in some areas they've really accomplished that so. Keep up the division and we think we have a girl scout who just made as these all son she does or does the project for a one of her merit badges. She created these dog poop bag holders. And their mailboxes that are payment and shall paint them to match your house. So we really wanna see her on fellows many of those as possible. That is great idea. Get ready coming up shortly we'll announce the code word in a 1000 dollar nationwide holiday cash contest on WW. We're talking by water but before we do that very quickly our preview show was -- -- And he is just wonderful health tape -- he's going to be signing it tomorrow -- majority of drugs Friday from two to 330 that's voluntary parkway in -- 888 Terry park -- jury drugs now let's go back to buy water bottled water. Placed to be so -- if you would like to be there but you have the housing shortage. There's a finite amount of houses currently -- by water kind of you know selling like. Days -- hours after they -- listed so I think one of the best opportunities that we have to increase housing can buy water is along. The river of charter street where this former light industrial property. Where. There's been some activity with these properties. Being renovated and put back on the market like the Rhys Millen charted across street from Coca. HR I took over two factories which had the byword art loss which is a conclave of artists that you have to. Qualified to be there but I think on. Exploring the options along the riverfront and light industrial properties a way to really help increase the population in my ward and therefore. Improving the amount of services at the Pentagon and in good hands. And if I'm about to make them apartments or condos or individual homes not apartments apartments. As in what the general population is of -- When it's well -- if we look at. The statistics probably show for 2000 -- We think it's around 4000. Actual residents but then again all that surrounding -- were still pushing for grocery store for it. Yes if they really need that but your place for the -- movies. Yeah it's been that way for quite some time I mean. I'm done this year -- may. Films here a lot -- and is always lots of movies. Filmed on the streets of Iowa and into. Businesses. In people's homes. You know you'll have the whole street blocked off with that's no parking -- have all the trailers and stuff like that so it's it's amazing how many films. Are being done in by water because. It I think it is very representative of what people envisioned as a typical New Orleans with. The inventory palaces we have of camel backs and shotgun doubles and creole cottages it's a perfect slice of what. People expect of New Orleans. You live in a very special place in your very locking in on this is uplifting to know that. One you have the leadership to you have really the passion to to keep something very special in our area. A one thing both of you John and -- and continued success and let us know if you get that pressures to. Then we will have been -- and -- them very very very good OK I think we're -- It's the 1000 dollar holiday cash contest the code word this hour is fun FEU and dean. And that code word at WW real dot com slash cash. Or click on the contest link on our website for your chance to win 1000 dollars nationwide. And it's just a simple to -- where the -- office computer surfing at home or on your Smartphone or tablet. You can win anywhere. Listen for the next code word right before the top news at 6 PM good luck from Smart radio intercom and WW.