New Orleans East is Booming

Jeff Thomas

New Orleans East is making New Orleans great again. Non-residents love to hate the East. But recent developments point to the East not only being significantly better, but the biggest economic engine in the city. The resulting impact will change crime, politics, business, a nasty negative narrative and peoples’ minds.
The city and the developers of Bayou Phoenix inched closer to finalizing that deal. The $3 billion project is the biggest thing to hit the East since the new hospital. This project projects over 15,000 permanent and construction jobs. And while this is the most prominent and important economic development in the area, there are several other projects that are happening in tandem. Development of the lakefront airport and the surrounding area with an entertainment district including restaurants and hotels is also on the works. And Lincoln Beach is getting cleaned up and put back into commerce. If Ochsner and Xavier University are considering putting the new medical school in the East, then call it grand slam.

New Orleans East is Booming
Nothing stops a bullet like a job. Of the 90,000 residents who call the east home, around 100 were murdered last year. Drugs and drug related activity contributed to many of these murders. Many young drug dealers see no other job options. But good paying jobs greatly diminsh the lure and trappings of corner drug dealing. And working consistent hours means less time for other activities. Creating a neighborhood centered on work and productivity changes the very nature of the place.

The East is one of the most politically active subdivisions in the state. People always vote around 50% in several precincts. Those homeowners who saw green dots on their property are now fierce advocates of property rights and proper political representation. They demand accountability and communication from their City Councilmen, State Representatives and Senators. The elected officials who help propel the East to higher heights have bright political futures. You might see future mayors or a Congressman in the bunch. Currently the elected officials are putting together a string of economic development projects that make the future bright.

Most impressively, African Americans are investing in the East. In fact, every confirmed big new project is led by an African American. The nasty race-based narrative that the East is a dangerous and unsavory place depressed the area for too long. If you want something done right, then you should do it yourself. African Americans are pulling up their neighborhood up themselves. Forming alliances with smart and informed businesspeople, our local people are making a difference. Black excellence trumps the stale stupid talk about crime ridden and toxic. Not only is the East vibrant and strong, but the city of New Orleans will also depend upon the jobs and tax revenues created there. Any future crime reduction from these projects benefits the entire state.

Soon people will flock out East like they run to Metairie or the Northshore. New Orleans East is booming. Black excellence is on display.

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