(So far in 2019) The cold front that settled over the high-end Baton Rouge residential market following the 2016 August flood still hasn’t completely moved out of the Capital Region, though sales seem to be picking up as of this summer. Through the end of June, there’s been roughly a dozen houses sold for more than $1 million—almost double the amount compared to the midpoint of last year. Despite the slight uptick in sales, listing prices for the highest priced homes on the market are considerably lower this year and there hadn’t been a sale of more than $1.7 million through June. Furthermore, only the top two homes on this year’s list would have made last year’s list—on which the top home was listed at $7,995,000, followed by $4,995,000 and $3,950,000 listings. Prices also appear to be dropping, as evidenced by the home on Sunset Boulevard, which originally hit the market in 2017 and was featured on last year’s list with an asking price … [Read more...] about The five most expensive homes on the Baton Rouge market
If you look up John Bel Edwards on Wikipedia, it describes the governor as a “conservative Democrat.” Someone should correct that. Sure, as we know from the last election—as he endlessly told voters—the governor is pro-life (due to his devout Catholic faith and a personal family experience) and he supports the Second Amendment. (What country boy in Louisiana doesn’t hunt and own a gun?) I respect that. While I admit those two positions conflict with the new socialist Democratic Party we see espoused in the presidential primary, Edwards’ conservative credentials end there. Other than that, he has a family tradition as a Yellow Dog Democrat. Like the liberal presidential candidates, he loves the unions, thinks big government should take care of folks, and believes there’s nothing wrong with raising taxes to “put a chicken in every pot.” He would make former populist Democratic governors like Huey Long and Edwin Edwards proud. But … [Read more...] about Publisher: Gov. John Bel Edwards is no conservative
The outrage was almost immediate. Baton Rouge and its city-parish government, with an annual budget just shy of $1 billion, can’t find a spare $2 million for each of the next 30 years, beginning somewhere around 2024, to secure $255 million from the feds for critically-needed drainage projects in our flood-prone parish? Is this a joke? A parish just recovering from the mother of all floods in 2016 is stretched too thin to dig up what amounts to 0.2% of its ever-escalating annual budget? A city still drying out from the swamping of an early June super soaker is too cash-poor to pay for the very drainage and flood control projects Mayor Sharon Weston Broome claims is a big-time priority for her administration? No, I’m not making this up, begging this question: Who picked the wrong week to give up sniffing glue? Even going all-in with the full $65 million match amounts to 2.5% of what Broome and the Metro Council will spend this year on stuff like salaries, retirement benefits … [Read more...] about JR Ball: Brother, can you spare $2 million for poor Baton Rouge?
I am still struggling to understand how the city-parish and its two program management teams of 16 engineering and consulting firms—that’s right, 16—will efficiently and effectively oversee Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s nearly $1.2 billion MovEBR roads improvement program. To their credit, officials in Broome’s administration, namely Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelvin Hill, have been patient, accessible and transparent in sharing their plans with me and trying to explain why having so many firms involved in this program is a good thing. I genuinely appreciate their time and help. It’s just not adding up for me yet. To back up: Earlier this year, the administration decided to divide the long list of projects in the 30-year MovEBR roads tax program into two groups that would be overseen by two separate program managers. This was done to satisfy both those concerned about keeping costs down and those who wanted to ensure lots of local … [Read more...] about Riegel: Making sense of the MovEBR management contracts
It was sad reading our recent cover story (“No man’s land,” May 21) on the demise of Florida Boulevard. I participated with the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team (R/UDAT) of architects and planners back in the 1980s, sharing ideas with others and creating yet another plan that sat on a city shelf. We all know, like a football game plan, it can look good on paper, but ultimately it comes down to execution on the field at kick-off. And while bold change doesn’t happen overnight, it has to start somewhere. A first step. As they say, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.” It never happened. As for Florida Boulevard, a good place to start could be a few simple laws and policies requiring landowners to be responsible for their property—and hold them accountable. It is long overdue. One beginning step is to address ugly, abandoned signage—or visual pollution. The article says: “[T]he signage code in the overlay district is weak and … [Read more...] about Publisher: Take a single step forward on Florida Boulevard