1.22.2009

Two Footprints: The LSU-VA Hospital Debate Continues

While the preservationist opposition to plans for major redevelopment of Lower Mid City haven't really gained a meaningful foothold, the opposition certainly hasn't subsided.

Here are two footprints (via NOLA.com), the first is the official one and the second is the opposition alternative:



















To me, the first footprint for the joint hospitals simply takes up too much land. And, if you look at this version of that first footprint (via Karen Gadbois), you see just how much of it is parking lot - which would really be a rather shameful use of the land given the costs to acquire and use it:













It would cause far greater displacement of current residents and businesses, but the corresponding benefit would not be all that much greater since other options exist, like use of Charity (although there are some facility and staff-sharing arguments that would have to be overcome).

Also relevant is LSU's uncertainty about whether it will be able to proceed with its half - and its intent to push the Obama administration for the full restoration value of Charity. Those factors should militate toward holding off for the moment, making sure this grandiose project is done right - before people are forced out of their homes - even with compensation - for the sake of economic development.

I'm very happy to see, though, that the historic Dixie Brewery appears to be safe even if the first footprint is the one that ultimately controls the development.