July 29, 2020 — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today joined other elected officials and community partners to celebrate the beginning of work on a $32 million redevelopment of Lake Forest Manor to bring it back to its original use, as a 200-unit senior living facility in New Orleans East.

The City provided a $1.5 million community development block grant to the developer TKTMJ, Inc., in collaboration with the Housing Authority of New Orleans.

The project is in keeping with several efforts by Mayor Cantrell to fight for affordable housing for the City’s residents, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, the City Council approved Mayor Cantrell’s request for $35 million to be added to the 2020 budget for COVID-19 response and affordable housing in New Orleans. The ordinances appropriate funding from the State and Federal government to the Office of Community Development. They will allow the City to quickly respond to the compounded housing and economic issues related to COVID-19. This will help the City deploy funding for eviction and rental assistance, housing for homeless residents, and support small businesses.

Also, effective July 27, the Office of Community Development began taking applications for tenants residing in Orleans Parish in imminent danger of being evicted.

Mayor Cantrell also thanked a hotel in New Orleans East for stepping up to help house homeless residents downtown who had been compromised by the rodent vector that was identified in the early days of the pandemic as restaurants shuttered. Several of those residents, Mayor Cantrell added, have found permanent housing.

Mayor Cantrell also reaffirmed her commitment to improving District E, including New Orleans East. This includes housing, economic opportunity and infrastructure. Including projects currently under construction, the Department of Public Works has 40 projects valued at $211 million planned for District E. Twelve projects valued at $80 million are currently under construction, while there are 11 completed projects valued at $36 million — since May of 2018. 

Mayor Cantrell was joined by State Rep. Jason Hughes, District 100; Marjorianna Willman, Director, Office of Housing Policy and Community Development, who facilitated the CDBG with HANO; and Michael Tubre and Thomas Tubre Jr., of TKTMJ, Inc. | Gambit: NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans East is ‘America’s rocket factory.’ 

July 13, 2020

New Orleans East has been important to America’s journey to space, from the Saturn V rockets and the Moon landing to the recent NASA and SpaceX launch in May and the coming mission to Mars. Sitting right there on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is the Michoud Assembly Facility, where NASA and its partner Boeing and Lockheed Martin, are building the rockets that propel our exploration of space. Read more.

City Council Addresses Blight with Passage of Redevelopment Plan for Holiday Inn on Chef Menteur Highway

Holiday Inn on Chef Menteur Highway
Exterior photo of the blighted property along Chef Menteur Highway

New Orleans City Council. The New Orleans City Council passed Zoning Docket 51/20, approving a conditional use to permit the redevelopment of the “Caveman” Hotel located at 6324-6400 Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East. This zoning change will facilitate the transformation of the former Holiday Inn, bringing the blighted property back into commerce after fifteen years of vacancy. 


The structure, which was built in the 1960s and opened as a Holiday Inn in 1969, is one of the first buildings seen from the Interstate when crossing the Industrial Canal into New Orleans East. Situated in plain view of the Interstate, it has become a canvas for large-scale graffiti that now characterizes the derelict hotel more commonly known as the “Caveman” in reference to the large sprawling graffiti letters covering the entire facade.


The building will be renovated using Historic Tax Credits with commercial space on the first floor and 144 one-bedroom apartments on the remaining eight floors. The applicant will remodel the entire structure while maintaining the original “Holiday Inn” style and facade and plans to install new green and open space and modify the parking area to incorporate stormwater management and landscape features. 


The approval of this zoning docket represents a huge win for New Orleans East and specifically, Chef Menteur Highway, which is in great need of additional commercial and residential uses throughout the area. 



New Orleans City Business: Equal access to loans a challenge for small businesses of color

July 9, 2020. Lawmakers, business owners and small business advocacy groups say the PPP has magnified the challenges business owners of color face when seeking financial assistance. Many lack a strong relationship with banks, a sturdy credit score and access to accountants or other advisers that can help them gather the necessary documents to prepare applications.  Read more.