Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This stunning cottage is ready for a complete renovation

I continued my insane search for a house yesterday. In the 700 block of Alvar, I looked at a double that was on the market for 139,000 and listed as having some roof damage. It has a blue roof (also known as a tarp) from the hurricane. The roof was never repaired. In two rooms the ceiling has collapsed from the rain and the insulation is hanging down. The carpets are soaked. In the two kitchens, the garbage has been removed but every surface is stained with mildew or mold. I didn't get close enough to really check.

From there we went to another double, on St. Claude Avenue across from St. Roch Market. Another foreclosure, this one is listed at 160,000. Someone had begun renovations on this one. Their shoes are still inside, with the paint samples and ladders. But no work was ever completed. There are no floors in either bathroom--you look down at the dirt. In the small yard, a shed is crammed full of furniture. In every room on one side of the double, there are yellow tags scattered on the floor. They are mattress tags. The kind that say it is against the law to remove. And the mattresses were "refurbished." What was going on here after the storm?

And we see a really nice, restored house with a back porch and a yard, listed at 165,000. It is on North Robertson, between Poland Avenue and the Industrial Canal. The other houses on the street are abandoned, but the area is made up mostly of warehouses, so even if the neighborhood "comes back" there won't really be any neighbors. The view from the front porch: the side of the post office and a highway ramp.

Meanwhile, at tonight's neighborhood association meeting (7pm at Holy Angels) we are supposed to hear the new plans for the icinola development. I'd provide a link to their site, but its been down for several days, by coincidence, I'm sure. (Update: now it is working.) So the only link I can find is this one. Essentially the project will include 105 loft style apartments, and 37,000 sf of retail, for a total of more than 200,000 square feet. That's the same square footage as Riverwalk and twice the size of the casino downtown (although the casino has a lot of empty air space). They will have to move several historic homes out of the way, and rezone the area. They are hoping to limit the parking by encouraging people to use mopeds. But somehow I think people who buy new condos will want a car when hurricane season comes.

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