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The Big Easy has never been known for speed. The city so devastated by Hurricane Katrina is only slowly recovering. But city leaders want to make sure what comes next is better than before. New Orleans native Sean Cummings is leading a charge to redevelop the waterfront.
Yesterday he announced an agreement with the port to find new uses for four miles of riverfront adjacent to the Hilton hotel, some of the city’s highest ground. Cummings will soon be meeting with architects, including Frank Gehry, to come up with a master plan for the site that he says may include a music hall, a culinary school, a chapel, cruise ship terminal, even an institute that would study water. “We’re trying to get New Orleans to play on the world stage,” Cummings says. “It may be the biggest addition to the city since the French Quarter.” It’ll be another year before the planning is done and request for proposals could go out to private developers. But one day down the road, the city’s ten million visitors could find something bigger in the Big Easy.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.