New Orleans East realtors hope new business will boost home pric - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

New Orleans East realtors hope new business will boost home prices

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New Orleans -- New Orleans East will soon be home to a new Walmart, and residents there say as time passes, they continue to see signs of recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Local realtors hope new development will draw more homeowners to the area.

Joan Heisser is a real estate agent whose been selling homes since 1977. While she's seen a lot change in New Orleans East over the years, she says right now is an exciting time for the community. "I get calls every day from people who are living out of state, that want to come back to New Orleans and want to live in New Orleans East," said Heisser.

Bullard Avenue is just one area experiencing new growth. Big Lots opened just last month and residents are hearing more retail shops and businesses are on their way. Heisser thinks the availability of more amenities is a big incentive for people looking for a bang for their buck. Heisser explains, "Lots of land mass in New Orleans East, we have great housing stock and you get more for your dollar."

But some residents say the progress is too slow and should've happened years ago. Resident Jerry Tolbert says, "Those places weren't here when I came back, 2006."

Darryl Lutcher adds, "Katrina was back in 2005. We're just now getting a major, it's not even here yet, they're building a Walmart on Bullard but it's 2013. The people in the East needing groceries had to go to Chalmette or Metairie or Mid-City to find groceries."

Joan Heisser feels the same frustration but predicts if homeowners can withstand the wait, they'll be rewarded. "Hopefully in the near future, once the hospital is completed, we'll see more and more developments which will automatically increase our property values," said Heisser.

It's welcome news to folks who've withstood the damage brought by Hurricane Katrina, and returned to the only place they call home.

The new hospital being constructed in the East will sit on the site of the former Methodist hospital. It's expected to be completed by next spring.

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