NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Mid-City economic explosion is contagious and Gert Town is catching the bug. Rundown lots near South Jeff Davis and Washington are being shifted into high-dollar gear.
Kin restaurant is hot. It's been open for more than a year on Washington Avenue near Xavier. The tiny yellow restaurant carves a niche for Asian fusion in Gert Town. But there aren't a lot of business around it.
"I don't want to be lonely. We have one neighbor, he's great guy, but it would be nice to have a few more," said Kin owner Hieu Than.
His wish is about to come true. The graffiti-covered covered building next door will be gone soon. Citadel Building plans to replace it with more than 200 upscale apartments by next year.
"It's a podium style apartment complex with parking and 15,000 square feet of retail space," said contractor Denzel Clark.
Citadel Building saw an amazing opportunity.
"This will play to the medical corridor and to Xavier," Clark said.
Xavier has been a driving force in improvement on South Jefferson Davis near the FOX 8 studios. Just last year, Xavier acquired and transformed the old B. Samuel Building into a fitness center. The university also did a renovation of Xavier South. Separate improvements on Jeff Davis - like the Woodward Building - show progress.
"You're seeing Jeff Davis on the river side of the interstate being invested in because of its proximity to the city. The same Jeff Davis on the river side of the interstate is being invested in the same way the rest of Mid-City has value," said Graham Bosworth of the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization.
With so much cooking in the area, Hieu Than can taste success.
"It's a little vindication that buying this instead of renting was a great idea," Than said. "It's a wonderful neighborhood."