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Residents angry over state of old Lindy Boggs Med Center

NEW ORLEANS - Mid-City is coming alive with new restaurants and businesses, but some residents say there's still one major eyesore: the old Lindy Boggs Medical Center on Jefferson Davis Parkway.

It was once a thriving hospital in the heart of Mid-City but these days, the Lindy Boggs Medical Center sits vacant, with busted out windows and graffiti sprayed on its walls.

A former employee of the hospital says, "It wasn't pretty during Katrina and after Katrina, and it's not too pretty right now."

In 2010, St. Margaret's Foundation purchased the building.

"Maintaining that building, obviously it's a big footprint and keeping the graffiti artists away from there is a challenging task," said St. Margaret's Director of Development Michael Gilman.

In addition to the trash strewn across the property, there's also several feet of standing water in the area that used to be the underground garage.

"That's another challenging thing," Gilman said. "There's actually a pump in there. The pump failed, so we're trying to work to get that pump reactivated, start getting the water out, because, yes, the water fills up, we pump it out, it fills up, we pump it out."

Gilman isn't making excuses for the appearance of the building, admitting he's gotten many complaints from residents. But he said he and his staff do their best to keep the property maintained.

As for why it's still sitting vacant when the backside has already been transformed into a nursing home, Gilman explains plans are in the works for a sort of medical mall.

"We're talking about additional nursing home beds with other medical services that are gonna tie in with the people we serve and also with the needs of the community," he said.

But those additional beds and medical services may only take up about 30 to 40 percent of the building.

"The other half we currently have feasibility studies out now to determine what the best use is," Gilman said. "I can't disclose that as of yet, but we're moving closer to putting together the full plan."

The site won't be developed overnight. First, remediation work must be done on the inside, which could take 30 to 60 days. Gilman said that'll begin shortly. Then, another year to year-and-a-half of construction time can be expected.

For New Orleanians who are welcoming signs of redevelopment throughout Mid-City, they say the sooner this project can be started, and finished, the better.

"You drive down Carrollton and you have all these new places. It's getting back to a true neighborhood again, which is wonderful," said resident Debbie Tracy. "And then to come to the end of the street and see this, it's really disappointing."

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