How would you feel if someone told you that these houses at 4037 Octavia and 4031 Octavia (at Walmsley) should be torn down? They are not historic. They don't add to the character of the street scape. They are, in a word, expendable.
Well that is essentially what Mr. Blancher has argued at City Hall. These 2 houses on Fig Street are expendable.
Mr. Blancher paid a total of $355,000 for the 8125-27 and 8129-31 Fig Street. The postKatrina damage assessment for each of the properties was less than 20%. These properties were remediated, permitted by the city as rentals and inhabited until Mr. Blancher evicted the tenants. Apparently these houses are expendable, unnecessary, valueless as housing stock and valueless to the neighborhood. Mr. Blancher would rather have vacant lot or an unpaved parking lot because he thinks that this would be better for the neighborhood.
Requests to demolish in this neighborhood must go before the the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee (aka NCDC). At hearings Mr. Blancher indicated that the properties were in poor repair and harbored drug dealers and that he wanted to tear them down to protect his business and his clients and to provide parking.
The story Mr. Blancher weaves on Demo Diva, Simone Bruni's radio show on WGSO about the drug dealing transvestites with Black lights for Crack and Red lights when it's a cat house is better than fiction. But during her Demo Diva interview even the neighbor in the middle of Dublin (whose new Lot next Door abuts the empty corner lot Mr. Blancher owns across the street from Fig requested demolitions) indicated that she had never seen drug dealing from these properties. And she spoke in favor of Mr. Blancher's requested demolition at the NCDC meeting.
NorthWest Carrollton spoke at the NCDC an indicated that the neighborhood was opposed to the demolition of these properties. We have lost a significant amount of housing stock to: postKatrina fire, demolition by neglect, the 2007 Tornado, to illegal demolitions... We'd prefer not to loose any more.
We believe these structures can be saved and become valuable housing stock, just like the houses on Octavia Street. And based on the New Orleans Assessor Website these twin properties were purchased prehousing bust for LESS than what Mr. Blancher paid for practically identical posthousing bust houses on Fig.
The NCDC agreed with us and the issue now goes before City Council.
If it wouldn't be a good idea to allow these houses on Octavia Street to be demolished,
why is demolition a good idea in NorthWest Carrollton?