real estate

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.

djnaquin67 / Flickr

A government watchdog group says New Orleans should sell the World Trade Center that sits empty by the Mississippi River.

The city had reached a tentative lease agreement last year with Gatehouse Capital Corporation to redevelop the old high rise. But negotiations broke off in April, ending plans for the building being converted into a luxury hotel and residential complex.

The Bureau of Governmental Research noted yesterday that it was the third time redevelopment efforts failed.

The Shreveport Downtown Development Authority is gearing up for a second Pop UP project.

This time, a vacant, turn-of-the-century building in the central business district will be filled with 6,000 square-feet of retailers that currently don’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Business owners apply to get a rent-free space in the Pop UP. If chosen, they will operate their venture out of the Zodiag building for two weeks, according to Liz Swaine, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Michael DeMocker / Nola.com / The Times-Picayune

In a recent story, Nola.com / The Times-Picayune education reporter Danielle Dreilinger took a look at the many empty buildings and vacant lots still owned by the Orleans Parish School Board. Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods damaged many school properties, though some sat vacant and rotting long before the storm.

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