High-Dollar Homes: Life can be lush in the city's historic neigh - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

High-Dollar Homes: Life can be lush in the city's historic neighborhoods

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NEW ORLEANS - The ambiance of the French Quarter makes it one of the city's most enviable neighborhoods. It's impossible to put a price tag on the lifestyle, but owning a piece of history can definitely be expensive.

"Top dollar right now - we have places $600 a square foot and rising," said Michael Wilkinson of French Quarter Realty. "It's amazing what's happened over the last six months."

Wilkinson's clients include some of the wealthiest and most selective people, some of them celebrities.

"They're looking for upscale French Quarter elements, maybe a courtyard or a balcony," he said.
"They want something relatively private so they don't have to hide from the papparazzi."

There's a jewel on Dumaine Street that fits the bill.

"This is the living room, dining room, wonderfully done in contemporary furniture, opening out to that luscious courtyard and pool," Wilkinson said.

The early 1800s Creole cottage's exterior can not be changed, but inside is a modern take on the old.

"This property is 2,400 square feet of totally renovated space."

Architect Lee Ledbetter transformed the space with interesting elements like a floating steel staircase.  A piece of art obscures the television until it's time for viewing.

"The kitchen is magnificent," Wilkinson said. "This is one of the finest kitchens you'll see in the French Quarter, and also one of the largest."

The home has a wine cellar and seven parking spaces - something unheard of in the French Quarter, according to Realtors.

The price tag is $2.4 million.

In the Marigny, there's another historic offering.  An 1850 Greek Revival mansion with 13 bedrooms and 13,000 square feet. Realtor Robert Ripley says it's updated for a modern family with historic integrity intact.

Outside, there's a pool, an outdoor cabana, and servants quarters that serve as guest bedrooms.

"This is your outdoor living room. Coffee in the morning, and a perfect place for lunch al fresco," Ripley said.

There's even a vegetable garden.

The price tag is upwards of $3 million.

"The most expensive one recently has been in $3 million range, which buys you nothing in New York, California and places like that," Ripley said.

Affordable for some, dreams for others, with the sweet sounds of the Quarter as the backdrop for luxury in these high-dollar historic homes.

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