I walked around the Lafitte housing development this weekend and took these photos. The section between N. Rocheblave (the northern most boundary) and N. Galvez Street (the center traffic artery running through the site) is mostly piles of bricks, twisted metal (including the scrolled ironwork porch supports and metal windows) and personal effects. As I passed on foot, two men ran out of one of the standing buildings clutching some kind of materials that they threw into the trunk of car and then sped off. I imagine they were stripping the buildings of valuable building materials or helping themselves to the contents of the apartments, many of which are still furnished. So, about half of the development is demolished, but the potential 196 interim units in 18 buildings are still standing at the southern end of the site closest to the Claiborne overpass.
As the work moves relentlessly on, Rick Denhart of Mercy Corps has been trying to work with the demolition contractor for Lafitte to determine the value the contractor assigned to various materials which the contractor intended to obtain as scrap (and hence lower the amount of his overall bid). This information has been slow in coming. The idea, as Rick explained it, would be to try to get intact items like windows and figure out a way to have the contractor accept payment of that value. Time is working against us here as the attempted negotiations stall.
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