real estate

As New Orleans continues debating the pros and cons of short-term rentals, an association with members now operating in the burgeoning industry wants to get their message out. Operators of short-term rentals say they want to help – not hurt – the city.

The City of New Orleans has revived a popular blight remediation program called the Lot Next Door. The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority starts taking applications for it Monday.

New Orleans agencies are conducting online auctions to sell off property. Two University of New Orleans experts are saying the whole process should be ramped up.

Charleston's TheDigitel / Flickr

A report by the real estate website Zillow says that renters in New Orleans paid about $1.8 billion to landlords last year, an increase of about 5 percent from 2013.

The uptick in rent dollars was linked to a combination of an increase in the number of renters on the market and rising rental costs.

While New Orleans was on par with the national average increase, other cities saw even bigger hikes in the money renters were paying out: San Francisco was up 13 percent, and the money Denver's renters paid was up by more than 10 percent.

About 130 homes and residential lots throughout New Orleans will go on auction this weekend.

The New Orleans Advocate reports the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority will sell the properties at Saturday’s auction with no minimum prices.

The event will be held in Hall H at the Morial Convention Center.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m., with the auction starting at 11 a.m. Organizers recommend preregistering. Online bidding also is available.

Eileen Fleming / WWNO

There have been several ribbon-cutting ceremonies lately on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, and more are on the way. The community-based revitalization plan for the commercial corridor, driven by non-profits, is now looking to private business to keep it moving.

The 10 blocks between Jackson Avenue and Calliope Street are crammed with construction crews. Workers are fixing building facades. A jazz center spearheaded by trumpeter Irvin Mayfield is taking shape. So is a grocery store.

Jason Saul / WWNO

Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in Central City has recently seen a lot of redevelopment. This Monday, the new location of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum opens its doors. Other large-scale projects are underway, too, and developers expect them to bring new life to the area.

But O.C. Haley has seen a slower resurgence than some other nearby commercial districts. Why has it been so hard to bring business back to this boulevard?

Carol Bebelle says she started coming to Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. when she was a little girl.

Derek Bridges / Flickr

City officials are hoping to clear 1,200 lots of tall grass and trash in New Orleans in the next year, the Advocate reports.

It’s part of the latest push to eradicate blight, helped along by a new ordinance passed by the City Council in February authorizing city workers to clean up trash or overgrown grass without a hearing.

Under the new system, homeowners have one week to fix problems after a property has been cited by an inspector. If it’s not fixed, the cost for cleanup is added to the owner’s property tax bill.

Seven new businesses open today in downtown Shreveport as part of the second Pop UP Project, organized by Shreveport’s Downtown Development Authority to spark interest in downtown retail development. The emerging businesses receive free rent for two weeks as way for them to try out their venture in a brick and mortar storefront.

Alexander Rabb / Flickr

New Orleans' third-tallest building, which has sat unused for a dozen years, has been sold.

New Orleans CityBusiness reports one of the owners of the 45-story Plaza Tower confirmed Thursday's sale, which comes nearly three years after they bought the building at auction for $650,000.