Questions surface over city owned boat houses - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Questions surface over city owned boat houses

New Orleans - All along Breakwater Drive there are boat houses. Some are set aside as a weekend getaway, others, a place considered a more permanent residence.

Even though they may look different, every boat house sits on city property.

"The city is leasing out the water bottom, basically the right for the person to own the improvements on top of it, the house and the structure," says City Councilwoman Susan Guidry.

So what would you pay for Lakefront property?

The City of New Orleans is charging residents of 130 boat houses at the Municipal Yacht Harbor, an average of just $2,400 a year.

"It's been one of the Mayor's statements that he's made over and over, that New Orleans for too long has been giving away too much," says Guidry

Through the years, boat houses and leases have been sold from one tenant to the next. Private tenants have walked away with almost $13 million over the last 15 years, selling 75 of the generous leases on the private market. That's according to records obtained by our partners at the Lens.

Meanwhile, the city has only pocketed a 3 percent transfer fee from those sales.

"Now that I think about it, $2,400 is a really good deal," says Sidney Torres.

SDT owner Sidney Torres used to own boat house 47. He purchased the lease back in 2002 and at the time paid $127,000 for it.

Torres says he then made renovations to the boat house.

"I put about a hundred thousand dollars in it and I ended up selling it for around $325,000. For me, I was busy all the time and I wasn't going to use it," says Torres.

Several of the boat houses are for sale now. For example, boat house 57 has an asking price of $495,000. Another boat house, still gutted is for sale for $165,000.

We also noticed a few of the boat houses had a ‘for rent' sign on them. Tenants though are forbidden from subletting their boat house by a clause in the lease unless they get written permission from the harbor and pay a 10 percent fee to the city on those rental revenues.

Councilwoman Susan Guidry says she spoke with the Municipal Yacht Harbor Management Corporation, the Corporation that oversees the property for the city.

She says according to the board, no one has been allowed to sublet post Katrina.

"That's something enforcement-wise, it sounds like we need to look into," says Guidry.

The lakefront property is in Guidry's district. She says the Landrieu Administration is looking into whether or not the city is getting a fair market value for its leases. She also points out that the Council has to respect the legality of the current leases, which right now, don't expire until the year 2030.

The city released a statement tonight saying, "The Municipal Yacht Harbor is an important city asset, and we are committed to the revitalization of our property at West End. As we has demonstrated in our first 11 months in office, we are committed to making sure the citizens of New Orleans receive fair market value for all public assets and that all transactions of those assets are open and fair."

For more information on this story, go to http://www.thelensnola.org







  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Saints TE Ben Watson stays steady

    Saints TE Ben Watson stays steady

    Ben Watson remains steady for Saints (Source: Mark LaGrange)Ben Watson remains steady for Saints (Source: Mark LaGrange)
    Ben Watson remains steady for Saints (Source: Mark LaGrange)Ben Watson remains steady for Saints (Source: Mark LaGrange)
    For tight end Ben Watson it's season #15. But he admitted he didn't know if he was going to get there. " I would say that at the end of last year I was very unsure if I was going to continue playing," Watson said." I knew that if I did play there only a very small number of places that I'd consider going.  One of those teams were the saints..because it was here where Watson had the best statistical season of his career in 2015... " There's a combinatio...more>>
    For tight end Ben Watson it's season #15. But he admitted he didn't know if he was going to get there. " I would say that at the end of last year I was very unsure if I was going to continue playing," Watson said." I knew that if I did play there only a very small number of places that I'd consider going.  One of those teams were the saints..because it was here where Watson had the best statistical season of his career in 2015... " There's a combinatio...more>>
  • Coach Payton 'anticipates' Marcus Davenport playing against the Chargers

    Coach Payton 'anticipates' Marcus Davenport playing against the Chargers

    Marcus Davenport has been nursing a groin injury. Source: Nola.comMarcus Davenport has been nursing a groin injury. Source: Nola.com
    Marcus Davenport has been nursing a groin injury. Source: Nola.comMarcus Davenport has been nursing a groin injury. Source: Nola.com

    First-round draft pick Marcus Davenport missed almost three weeks of action during Saints training camp. This weekend, Davenport was back at practice, and all signs point to the rookie playing against the Chargers this Saturday. "The assignment, he'll know. He's been practicing in the meetings. It's just making sure he's 100 percent. But I anticipate that happening this week. I anticipate him being able to work this week and get some playing time," said Sean Payton. The Un...

    more>>

    First-round draft pick Marcus Davenport missed almost three weeks of action during Saints training camp. This weekend, Davenport was back at practice, and all signs point to the rookie playing against the Chargers this Saturday. "The assignment, he'll know. He's been practicing in the meetings. It's just making sure he's 100 percent. But I anticipate that happening this week. I anticipate him being able to work this week and get some playing time," said Sean Payton. The Un...

    more>>
  • Body believed to be missing Metairie man found in Bonnet Carre Spillway

    Body believed to be missing Metairie man found in Bonnet Carre Spillway

    Clarence Schlamp was reported missing in Jefferson Parish by his girlfriend on Aug. 11 after she was unable to reach him by telephone. (Source: St. Chalres Parish Sheriff's Office)Clarence Schlamp was reported missing in Jefferson Parish by his girlfriend on Aug. 11 after she was unable to reach him by telephone. (Source: St. Chalres Parish Sheriff's Office)

    The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office says they have located human remains believed to be that of a missing Metairie man.

    more>>

    The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office says they have located human remains believed to be that of a missing Metairie man.

    more>>
Powered by Frankly