WWL reporter Caresse Jackman just completed a stunning 4 part series called "The Forgotten East: a view into the past, present and future of the largest neighborhood in New Orleans", and at the end of the last segment, WWL invited Louisiana Commercial Realty to join civic leaders and city councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen for a roundtable heart-to-heart discussion of how to rebuild New Orleans East.
Louisiana Commercial Realty president, Robert Hand, had just completed an update to his 2010 report, "What Businesses Are Needed in New Orleans East" for the East New Orleans Business Development District, and discussed the strengths of the east and specific ideas to bring people and businesses to the area.
I'm in the trenches, says Hand, since I'm the first person people call when they want to find the perfect location for their business. My research shows the east needs grocery stores, furniture stores and restaurants, and the technology to determine what businesses will thrive is pretty amazing. We harvest data from the government and consumer spending databases so we know the east spends $82 million a year at grocery stores, but we also know of the 1300 businesses in the east that only $53 million is sold by grocery stores located in the east, so there is a gap of $29 million in spending by residents living in the east who travel outside the east to shop at grocery stores. That means it is a real opportunity for a grocery store to open a location in the east and capture part of that $29 million in existing grocery spending.
For summary on what businesses are needed in the east, read the Louisiana Commercial Realty report, "Feasibility of Business Development In New Orleans East".