Squandered Heritage Vintage

Google Maps

I have been looking at the Master List that Matt McBride compiled using several data bases.

Here is partial text of his letter

The city’s notification process for demolitions has been notoriously ineffective. Lists of Imminent Health Threat and Imminent Danger of Collapse properties are posted to the city’s website, and then disappear within days. The city has been hauled into federal court in two separate cases since Katrina because of its poor notification procedures for demolitions.

However, one should realize that the city’s failure to notify homeowners about pending demolitions is not due to a lack of information. In fact, the city has a bunch of information about demolitions, but they are – for whatever reason- wildly reluctant to release it.

I have obtained two lists of properties cleared by FEMA in December 2007 for demolition. I believe they have been compiled by a company called Beck Disaster Recovery (BDR), which has a contract with the city for property management ofdemolition properties. BDR has offices in 1515 Poydras, across from City Hall.

I have taken a partial sampling of this list and input it into Google Maps. As you can see the spreadsheet info looks a lot more alarming when you map it.

Demo Sample

More from Matt

These lists are different than any other lists previously published, because it is a nearcertainty that these houses are targeted for demolition. They have already been cleared by FEMA as “eligible” for federal funding. Also, the raw numbers of properties (about 1400) matches closely with what has previously been announced as a total still to be taken down (about 1800, according to a FEMA press release from November).

Here is an example of an IHT property.

This is located at 2732 Iberville

2732 Iberville

Type of demo: this is information that came with the lists. The types are IHT (Imminent Health Threat), IMA (Imminent Danger of Collapse), VOL (voluntary, i.e. homeowner-initiated), and there are a few noted as COMM (commercial, though this is not really a type of demo so much as a type of building). Imminent Health Threat demos are quite controversial, since there is no objective standard for what constitutes an Imminent Health Threat, and the notification process is poor.

Anyone who is interested in the full spreadsheet can leave a comment and I will e mail them the list.

Here is a link to the map

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led to guilty pleas in federal court. Her work attracted some of journalism's highest honors, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • Much of where you mapped, of course, is a block away from planned billion dollar VA hospital. It will be prime commercial and residential real-estate in a few years, especially if the neighborhood has been considerably “altered”.

  • So much for transparency..

  • Karen: email it to me, and let me know if you need my help with any maps.

  • Pingback: Think New Orleans » Matt McBride’s List of City Initiated Demolitions in Google Maps()

  • Francine Stock

    MapBuilder allows you to both import and export data. You could take the spreadsheet lists from the city and import the data directly into a map. Presto! Insta-map

  • Matt

    We’ve been using Mapbuilder, but it is balky, and doesn’t digest large lists of addresses very well. I find it good in limited applications (less than a 1000 rows) and even then I only geocode 200 addresses at a time.

  • The insanity is that there is so much decrepit real estate at the CBD end of the corridor, but we’re clearing land on the north side. This is just stupid. We’ll end up with new construction on the north side and falling down building on the edge of the CBD. Brilliant.