City announces sale of longtime symbol of post-Katrina blight

Published: Feb. 20, 2016 at 3:17 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 20, 2016 at 3:20 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans announced Feb. 19 that the former Lake Terrace Shopping Center at 1532 Robert E. Lee Blvd. in the Gentilly neighborhood will be redeveloped by local developer Kenneth Lobell.

Since it was flooded during Hurricane Katrina, this private property has been blighted and vacant. For the last year several years, city leaders say they have aggressively pursued action against the property's former owner, DMK Acquisitions and Properties LLC (DMK), to force redevelopment of this commercial property.
As a condition of the purchase from DMK, the City of New Orleans will receive $100,000 to clear the title of all code enforcement liens and fines imposed against DMK. This represents the largest single code enforcement fine paid to-date to the City of New Orleans.
Lobell's agreement with the City requires him to apply for a demolition permit within seven days of purchase and the property must be demolished within 60 days of the receipt of a demolition permit from the City. Within six months of demolishing the existing buildings on the property, Lobell is required to begin construction on a new commercial development.
"Returning the former Lake Terrace Shopping Center to commerce has been a priority for my administration since taking office," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "For far too long, this private property has sat blighted because its owner refused to take responsibility for it. But after years of hard work and persistence, today is a new day. By successfully negotiating its transfer, this property can now be redeveloped and returned to commerce to the benefit of Gentilly residents and all of New Orleans."

The newly built commercial shopping center will include a First NBC Bank branch and approximately 6,500 square feet of general retail space.

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