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Central City becoming real estate hot spot

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Kathleen Cole is visiting from New York City, but she’s hoping to make New Orleans a permanent place to call home.

“I’m thinking about moving down South, anywhere there’s no snow,” says Cole.

“As we were walking by to go to the museum, I’m always open to look at homes. I saw a pamphlet and said, let’s check them out,” says Ivan Acosta.

Acosta lives in Washington D.C., but says he’s willing to move with his mom to New Orleans. With a budget of between $300,000 and $400,000, they’re especially interested in living in Central City.

“It’s not far from Canal. It’s not far from the French Quarter. It’s on the way to the Garden District, parks and everything. It’s centrally located,” says Cole.

As prices skyrocketed in areas along the river, people started to look to the other side of St. Charles Avenue for real estate. Developer Sadat Spencer jumped on the opportunity.

“We looked at this as a prime spot for residential development, an area that was more affordable then the Garden District and the Warehouse District,” says Spencer.

Spencer turned a parking lot at 1501 Carondelet into four town homes, each of them listed around $500,000.

Architect George Hero says the single-family homes have a modern layout.

“It has large open spaces and central kitchens, but it’s got some historical details,” says Hero.

Spencer has already sold two homes on MLK, one for $330,000 and the other for $560,000. He says he’s even done some landscaping in the 1700 block of MLK to breathe new life into the neighborhood. It’s an area that wasn’t always the most desirable, but seems to be up and coming.

“This is a very unique city when you compare it to the rest of the American cities. I’ve never seen such a diverse city in my opinion, and that’s what makes me want to be there,” says Acosta.

“I’m not really worried about crime because crime can find you wherever you go. Mass shootings are happening all over the place. I’m not going to worry about crime. I’m just going to do the best I can for the area that I live in,” says Cole.

The developer says 80 percent of prospective buyers searching for homes in Central City are out-of-towners.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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