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Avondale Shipyard, public transportation seen as challenges for Jefferson

Dec 6, 2016

Finding a new use for Avondale Shipyard and improving public transportation are two of the most significant challenges that Jefferson Parish must address, President Jerry Bologna of the Jefferson Economic Development Commission President said Tuesday (Dec. 6). His comments came at a Bureau of Governmental Research breakfast in Metairie.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Zurik: From City Hall down, convention center money leaves NOLA residents frustrated

Nov 14, 2016

BGR raised “The $1 Billion Question” in its so-titled report on whether tax dedications in New Orleans make sense. The report showed tens of millions of tax dollars generated in New Orleans by the tourism industry, but none of it going to fix streets or pay for police.

Source: FOX 8

Zurik: Convention Center cash piles up as attendance numbers fall flat

Nov 3, 2016

“Right now the dollars that the city is able to dedicate to streets is much less than what’s going to the Convention Center,” says Amy Glovinsky, president of the private nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: FOX 8

Jefferson hotels to begin charging an extra 1 percent to help boost tourism

Aug 11, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a local nonpartisan think tank, opposed the self-assessment by New Orleans hotels, saying such surcharges diminish the ability of governments to propose their own taxes to generate revenue.

Source: The Advocate

The $165 million question: How best to invest New Orleans’ tourism tax revenue?

Aug 3, 2016

The BGR study estimated that the hotel taxes generated $165.9 million in 2015. After accounting for all the pass-throughs and levels of distributions, the watchdog group estimated that about $126.8 million — 76 percent — went to tourism-related entities. The remaining 24 percent went to public services such as city government, transportation and education.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Taxing authority for New Orleans convention district rolling in Legislature

May 18, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research report on House Bill 1056 stopped short of condemning the project outright, but it did question the wisdom of granting the Convention Center new taxing authority.
The various taxes that support the Convention Center generated about $60 million in 2015. The Convention Center’s reserves now top $222 million, even as the city struggles to pave streets and recruit police officers, the BGR report notes.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

BGR criticizes bill to allow Morial Convention Center to levy taxes in nearby area

May 11, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research said the measure would exacerbate a fractured taxing system in New Orleans that already does too much to constrain how local officials can spend tax dollars.

Source: The Advocate

BGR pans Morial Convention Center taxing power

May 11, 2016

The watchdog Bureau of Governmental Research is repeating its refrain against approving new taxes in New Orleans without a thorough evaluation of dedications already in place.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Metairie development district would control $1.2 million fund

Mar 3, 2015

But focusing public assets in a single area has drawbacks, according to a 2008 report by a government watchdog on special tax districts in Jefferson Parish. The Bureau of Governmental Research found that a special district can redirect public money away from more urgent needs, and that even if districts are successful, they can still have a negative effect on the parish overall.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Idea Village joins groups giving attention to New Orleans as a health care hub

Sep 29, 2014

Business and civic groups in New Orleans recently have dedicated attention to the idea that the city can become a greater hub for the health care industry. The Bureau of Governmental Research hosted a talk on it last week.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

N.O. should use new medical complex to promote economic development, speaker says

Sep 23, 2014

Hecht and New Orleans BioInnovation Center President Aaron Miscenich were guest speakers Tuesday at a “breakfast briefing” of the Bureau of Governmental Research. They discussed the future of the health care and bioscience industries in New Orleans and statewide.

Source: The Advocate

Economic developers say New Orleans could become a medical hub but has challenges

Sep 23, 2014

“We’re sitting in the midst of one of the greatest economic development investments in New Orleans in a generation,” said Luis Zervigon, a member of the Bureau of Governmental Research board of directors, introducing a session hosted by the group.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

New Orleans Citizens Reform a Corrupt, Fallen City

Jul 25, 2014

Watchdog groups like the New Orleans-based Bureau for Governmental Research and the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University provide data and oversight.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

New Orleans Convention Center readying plans for major upriver expansion

May 21, 2014

A bill is pending before the state legislature this session that would allow the expansion to begin, making use of vacant land the convention center owns along Tchoupitoulas nearly all the way to the abandoned Market Street Power Plant, convention center president Melvin Rodrigue told the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: Uptown Messenger

French Market Corp. to restore weekly fresh-food farmers’ market

May 21, 2014

Jon Smith, French Market Corp. executive director, made the announcement Wednesday morning to business and community leaders at a briefing organized by the Bureau of Governmental Research downtown.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Jefferson hotels considering new tax to boost tourism

Feb 17, 2014

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonpartisan think tank in New Orleans, also came out against the proposal, arguing that levying a new hotel tax would make it more difficult to pass other, more general tax measures to fund city services or obligations.

Source: The Advocate

Martiny’s bill could result in new charges for Jefferson Parish hotel guests

Feb 11, 2014

The Bureau of Governmental Research, among others, criticized the New Orleans-focused law on multiple fronts. The surcharge is effectively a tax lacking oversight by local elected officials, and the decision to apply it to tourism marketing is “being made in a vacuum,” BGR said.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Questions of would-be WTC developers are revealing

Jul 17, 2013

The question of who would operate the consortium’s proposed structure also was raised by the Bureau of Governmental Research in a report released earlier this month.

Source: The Advocate

Iko-icon

Jul 9, 2013

As for the Tricentennial Consortium’s proposal, it’s hard to improve on the description by the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), which called it “an unspecified iconic tourist attraction.” Even more confusing, according to the BGR: The tower concept described in the RFP is merely a “placeholder” — which makes the rendering shown to the public meaningless.

Source: Gambit Weekly

Panel refines process for considering WTC proposals

Jul 2, 2013

(Chief Administrative Officer Andy) Kopplin, in the meeting, raised a controversial question about the city’s formal bid solicitation, which includes a vague dictate that proposals “should be privately financed,” with no further explanation. The Bureau of Governmental Research issued a report Monday criticizing that and other unexplained directives as “not exactly a mandate.”

Source: CityBusiness

Flaws undermine WTC redevelopment plans

Jul 2, 2013

A letter that BGR President and CEO Janet Howard sent to Mayor Mitch Landrieu in February described the city’s RFP as vague and ambiguous. Specifically, she was critical of the selection criteria and their unclear connection to the RFP’s goals as well as open-ended language concerning the use of public subsidies.

Source: CityBusiness

Bidders for World Trade Center site compete for public support

Jul 1, 2013

The Bureau of Governmental Research released an analysis of the three bids in a report titled ‘Three Visions For Two Canal Street’ which concludes that the future of the riverfront could hinge on the city’s choice.

Source: WWL-TV

BGR evaluates proposals for redeveloping World Trade Center

Jul 1, 2013

Before it selects a project to move forward with, the committee assigned to evaluate three proposals for redeveloping the World Trade Center should determine, among other things, the direct and indirect fiscal benefits of each proposal, the feasibility of the plans and the adequacy of the compensation the city will receive for leasing the distinctive building, the watchdog Bureau of Governmental Research said in a report released on Monday.

Source: The Advocate

BGR notes lean details in WTC site proposals

Jul 1, 2013

The committee of city officials that will review three proposals Tuesday to redevelop the former World Trade Center will not have at its disposal a current, city-commissioned appraisal of the 33-story tower, according to a report the Bureau of Government Research released this afternoon.

Source: CityBusiness

City considers what to do with WTC site

Jul 1, 2013

And just 24 hours before the selection committee is set to meet and rank the proposals, the non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research released a report on the bids. BGR isn’t taking a position on which proposal would be best, instead laying out the main points of each one.

Source: Fox 8

What Will Happen to the World Trade Center? City Meeting Tuesday

Jul 1, 2013

A watchdog group, the Bureau of Governmental Research, noted in a new report that the World Trade Center’s value hasn’t been appraised for several years. It says that makes it hard to tell if the city’s getting its money’s worth on any of the proposals.

Source: WWNO

New Orleans committee to evaluate proposals for former World Trade Center site on Tuesday

Jul 1, 2013

Also on Monday, the Bureau of Governmental Research released an analysis of the three proposals the committee will consider, offering no conclusions on which is the best but pointing out that their wide disparity and in many cases lack of specificity and detail could make it hard for the committee to reach a decision.

Source: The Times-Picayune

House panel clears new hotel fee

May 15, 2013

“It’s a tax on tourists that will consume a portion of the tax capacity of the city,” said Janet Howard, president of the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans hotels could impose fee on themselves under bill passing House committee

May 15, 2013

Opponents said marketing was far down on a list of concerns facing residents of the city and the French Quarter in particular. Janet Howard, president and chief executive of the non-partisan Bureau of Governmental Research, said New Orleans faces $45 million in liabilities from its pension plan for firefighters, consent decrees and other issues that are more important.

Source: The Times-Picayune

CVB’s Perry explains hotel ‘assessment’ split

May 15, 2013

BGR labels the assessment as a tax “in effect” that would “consume a portion of the city’s tax capacity” and urged lawmakers to table the bill. The group questions whether tourism marketing is the “highest and best use” of the revenue, and notes that the CVB and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., a city agency, already receive nearly as much of the city’s 13 percent hotel sales tax as the city’s general fund.

Source: CityBusiness

Plan to generate tourism dollars through hotel charge stirs debate

May 14, 2013

“This is a decision that really should be made locally and after giving consideration to all the needs on a comprehensive basis,” said BGR President Janet Howard.

Source: WWL-TV

Jefferson Parish contracting reforms to be delayed again, facing criticism from minority companies

Mar 12, 2013

The Bureau of Governmental Research President Janet Howard said the parish could make minority participation a part of the criteria used to evaluate proposal from companies, addressing the chamber’s concern while reducing political discretion in the selection process.

Source: The Times-Picayune

New alleged arrangement between Nagin and Lake Forest Plaza owner

Mar 4, 2013

With Nagin’s help and Burgos leading the way as the project developer, the TIF was approved by the City Council in 2009. But it was blasted as a bad, self-serving deal by community groups and the Bureau of Governmental Research, and it never went into effect.

Source: WWL-TV

Subsidies for Saints Owner Open New Orleans to Super Bowl

Jan 31, 2013

In the years before Katrina, the Saints were one of eight NFL teams to play in a building paid for entirely with public money, and one of two that had substantial revenue guarantees, according to a 2005 report by the Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonprofit research group in New Orleans.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Lake Terrace Shopping Center: As yet nothing to crow about

Jan 17, 2013

Janet Howard, head of the Bureau of Governmental Affairs, a non-profit research group that keeps a watchdog eye on City Hall, argues that developers “not current on their taxes or other obligations to the city” should not be given city incentives.

Source: The Lens

Empty New Orleans tower sits on prime site

Jan 12, 2013

Proposals and nascent deals to revive at least part of the building as a luxury hotel have died over the years as complex tax incentive and financing plans have fizzled. Part of the problem, said Janet Howard, head of the private watchdog group Bureau of Governmental Research, is that past efforts, which date back to the 1990s, “seemed to be politically driven rather than driven by the interest of the citizens of the city.”

Source: The Associated Press

New Orleans needs new approach to water management

Jan 10, 2013

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a watchdog group that had birddogged the Sewerage & Water Board to improve its way of doing business, sponsored Thursday’s presentation.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Law enforcement officials tie passage of CCC tolls to public safety

Nov 2, 2012

Among the tolls’ opponents are a grass-roots organization “Stop the Tolls,” and the Bureau of Governmental Research, a New Orleans-based government watchdog.

BGR published a lengthy analysis in 2011 calling for an end to the tolls, and recommended rejection of the tolls in an Oct. 1 report on ballot issues.

Source: Fox 8

Vote ‘no’ on extending Crescent City Connection tolls: Jim Tucker

Nov 2, 2012

The Bureau of Governmental Research has written an excellent report on the bridge and its finances.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Ballot measure would renew property tax for businesses for 20 years

Nov 1, 2012

New Orleans voters refused to renew the tax last year, and BGR recommends voters say “no” once again.

Source: Fox 8

Election Recommendations

Oct 26, 2012

Too much toll money has been squandered over the years. The Bureau of Governmental Research reported in 2011 that only 19 cents of every dollar in tolls went to maintaining and policing the bridge.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Voters to decide on Business Park property tax

Oct 24, 2012

The BGR recommended against the proposal in an Oct. 1 news release. According to the research conducted by the BGR, none of the businesses contacted “could identify any benefits they derived from it.” They said that the business park’s operations in the district have been so limited over the years that they would not notice a difference if the entity were eliminated altogether.”

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans voters to decide Nov. 6 on Regional Business Park tax

Oct 18, 2012

BGR said that despite the park’s seemingly strategic location, it has always struggled to attract new businesses.

Source: Nola.com

Business leaders want S&WB rate increase tied to management changes

Jul 23, 2012

The budget watchdog group Bureau of Governmental Research said with three council members on the water board, the agency is too political.

“One of the ways we’ve gotten in the trouble we’re in with all the deferred maintenance is because of the reluctance of elected officials to raise rates,” said BGR President and CEO Janet Howard.

Source: WWL-TV

Eastern New Orleans tax, fee on November ballot

Jul 23, 2012

The Bureau of Governmental Research said last year that, despite the park’s seemingly strategic location, it has always struggled to attract new businesses, and success stories such as Folgers have been few.

Source: The Times-Picayune

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu calls for renewal of Crescent City Connection tolls

Jul 11, 2012

But toll opponents, including the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research, argue that toll revenue has been so badly misspent over the years that core services largely could be maintained at a far lower cost to the state.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Incentives were key as New Orleans was wooing Costco

Jun 17, 2012

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Governmental Research said the policy falls short of what’s needed to guide “smart, transparent investment decisions” and fails to set clear strategic goals for investment. The bureau also said the criteria are weak on why the public should invest in a project.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish Council to launch ‘fact-finding mission’ on Crescent City Connection tolls

Jun 13, 2012

Toll supporters, including numerous business and civic groups, have said that without tolls, major cutbacks would be required to bring bridge services in line with what DOTD provides other bridges and roads across the state. But toll opponents, including the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research, have said toll revenue has been so badly misspent over the years that few, if any, cuts would be necessary if the state focused on providing core services.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Future of N.O. airport topic of June 26 briefing

Jun 11, 2012

The nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research plans a briefing June 26 focused on the future of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Source: The Associated Press

New Orleans Business Alliance to vote on economic development policies

May 9, 2012

The non-profit watchdog group the Bureau of Governmental Research has been pushing for years for stronger policies on economic development.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Hospitality district, board could be in the works for New Orleans

Apr 29, 2012

“The proposed hospitality legislation raises a number of questions and issues,” said Janet Howard of the watchdog Bureau of Governmental Research. She cited the imposition of a new district on top of existing ones, the “appropriateness of the proposed boundaries and governance,” and provisions that would allow the board to authorize tax-increment financing districts and other sub-districts.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Industrial Development Board is generous with property tax breaks for developers

Apr 29, 2012

For real estate developers, visiting the Industrial Development Board of New Orleans and asking for a property tax break is a worthwhile step as they map out financing for their projects. According to an analysis by the Bureau of Governmental Research, the board has rejected only one request for a property tax break since 1997.

Source: The Times-Picayune

IBD hears presentations on South Market District, Jazzland Outlet Mall

Mar 21, 2012

But Walter Flower, president of the IDB, which has been under pressure from the Bureau of Government Research in recent months for having criteria that are too loose and informal in granting tax abatements, cautioned that the approval was only a starting point for discussion.

Source: The Times-Picayune

State panel votes to issue report in favor of renewing Crescent City Connection tolls

Jan 20, 2012

The task force’s recommendation to renew the tolls is at odds with a report released in April by the non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research, which said the tolls should be allowed to expire because just 19 cents of every toll dollar goes toward bridge maintenance and policing.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Stuck in the toll lane at New Orleans Crescent City Connection: An editorial

Jan 18, 2012

Lawmakers also should consider the Bureau of Governmental Research report from last year, which pointed out the basic unfairness of the tolls that are now collected on east-bank-bound drivers.

Source: The Times-Picayune

World Trade Center redevelopment appears ready to move forward

Jan 17, 2012

The Bureau of Governmental Research suggested in January 2009 that instead of trying to make a deal with another developer, the city should buy out the trade organization’s lease and then sell the tower and garage outright to a private developer.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Costco proposal raises questions about need for, availability of incentives in New Orleans

Nov 10, 2011

Residents of Hollygrove and neighborhoods surrounding a proposed new Costco Wholesale store on South Carrollton Avenue walked among renderings at an Oct. 20 community meeting at Xavier University like they were perusing a candy store.

Source: New Orleans City Business

New report calls for massive overhaul of S&WB

Oct 26, 2011

A new report calls for drastic measures to improve the crumbling sewer and water services in the city, including removing elected members from the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board and giving the agency more control over its own finances.

Source: WWLTV

New Orleans voters will weigh in on tax for business park

Oct 20, 2011

To its defenders, the 7,000-acre New Orleans Regional Business Park can be one of the city’s most important tools for promoting economic development. To its critics, the eastern New Orleans park has failed for 30 years to prove that its potential can be turned into reality. Instead, it has been the subject of frequent unfavorable publicity because of management turmoil, political squabbles and ethical problems.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Election recommendations in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes propositions: An editorial

Oct 20, 2011

As the Bureau of Governmental Research noted, the park has accomplished very little, and businesses that pay the tax haven’t benefited from it in services or infrastructure.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Economic development leaders warn against state budget cuts

May 24, 2011

The larger question about the effectiveness of the entire ecosystem will be around for awhile. But Hecht and Miller are getting their message down while positioning themselves as point men for specific geographies. Hecht successfully tried out a metaphorical line on an audience gathered this morning at the Chateau Bourbon for an event hosted by the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Newsroom, CityBusiness

Heads of local economic development groups air concerns about siphoning money away from “mega fund”

May 24, 2011

Hecht and Miller were together Tuesday to deliver presentations during a breakfast meeting of the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Times-Picayune

City Hall faults itself on taxes

Feb 24, 2011

Janet Howard of the Bureau of Governmental Research, a local watchdog, offered a critical assessment of several agency policies, among them a lack of consistent criteria for qualifying projects and the fact that the board does not need the blessing of local taxing bodies before it absolves developers from local taxes.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Tenants around Lake Forest Plaza wait for signs of life

Jan 26, 2011

The City Council subsequently approved tax-increment financing, which would divert tax revenue to developers. But the council conditioned its approval on a matching agreement from the state, which remains under consideration. The controversial TIF arrangement drew opposition from the Bureau of Governmental Research and divided community and business leaders in eastern New Orleans.

Source: CityBusiness

Who Gets to Rebuild New Orleans?

Aug 31, 2010

Even before Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans, activists and businesses charged that the city had an opaque and cronyism-ridden system for awarding building and contracting deals — a major hurdle for local firms. The Bureau of Governmental Research, a private, independent research organization released a major report entitled “Contracting with Confidence” to call attention to the matter and make recommendations in March.

Source: The Washington Independent

On Anniversary of Katrina, Signs of Healing

Aug 27, 2010

“That you would end up with a major blight problem was absolutely predictable,” said Janet R. Howard, executive director of the Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonprofit advisory group here. “You come to a point where you have to get beyond the political question to the actual question.”

Source: The New York Times

Kenner council to consider TIF taxing district to lure Target to The Esplanade mall

Apr 6, 2010

But officials with the New Orleans-based Bureau of Governmental Research, a watchdog group, take a dim view of TIFs. Janet Howard, BGR’s president, didn’t speak to Kenner’s plan specifically but said part of the concern with TIFs is that they could be a “zero-sum gain from a regional point of view,” meaning that the revenue is just moving from one area to another. TIFs sometimes are unnecessary subsidies for big businesses and could hurt smaller businesses, she said.

Source: The Times-Picayune

City of New Orleans considers demolishing the World Trade Center

Feb 4, 2010

The trade group has asked for a $6.2 million payment to terminate its lease of the building: $5 million that it was supposed to receive from the most recent failed redevelopment efforts, plus the $1.2 million lease termination payment that the Bureau of Government Research had suggested in a report last year.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Uncertain future for fast-fading WTC site

Jan 25, 2010

Clarkson and others, including the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research, believe the city should rid itself of largely vacant skyscraper by selling it.

Source: CityBusiness

The Lens: Failed economic development

Jan 20, 2010

“We don’t believe that giving out grants to individual businesses is wise. It leaves you very exposed to the risk of patronage,” says BGR’s Janet Howard.

Source: Fox 8 News

Controversial property tax break for Hyatt topic of public hearing today

Nov 17, 2009

The Industrial Development Board of New Orleans is expected to get an earful today at a public hearing about a property tax break given to the developers of the Hyatt hotel last month even though the board’s own advisers say it was excessive.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Debate on the World Trade Center’s future is renewed

Oct 25, 2009

The litigation involving the latest failed bid to redevelop the World Trade Center building has been settled, raising questions about whether the city and trade club will continue with the same approach that they’ve been trying since 1998 to redevelop the building, which remains largely empty.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Report sheds light on dismal commercial market recovery

Oct 12, 2009

As the commercial real estate market continues its downward plunge, its recovery may not be the robust, v-shaped surge in activity that many economists had been hoping for.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

TEDA lobbies parish for tax policy

Oct 11, 2009

It’s a tool that could help bring new businesses to Terrebonne. But it also could mean higher taxes for shoppers and business owners.

Source: The Daily Comet

Forum bullish on more parish growth

Oct 3, 2009

Discussing strategies that St. Tammany Parish can use to harness and maximize growth, University of New Orleans economic development expert Ivan Miestchovich Jr. had admittedly little to offer in the way of advice to leaders of the steadily growing parish Friday.

Source: The Times-Picayune

St. Tammany poised for growth, officials say

Oct 2, 2009

Despite a few recession-induced hiccups, St. Tammany Parish is poised for horizontal growth along Interstates 10 and 12.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Council approves Lake Forest proposal

Oct 2, 2009

After more than two hours of debate that divided longtime allies and created some of the strangest political bedfellows in memory, the New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 Thursday to authorize millions of dollars in tax breaks for a team of businessmen hoping to redevelop the mostly empty site of the former Lake Forest Plaza mall in eastern New Orleans.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Mall tax break wins New Orleans City Council support

Oct 1, 2009

A controversial tax break to fund the redevelopment of an eastern New Orleans mall won approval from the New Orleans City Council today, even thought the council member in whose district the mall resides voted against it.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Lake Forest Plaza redevelopment tax break vote expected Thursday

Sep 30, 2009

After hours of apparently tense closed-door negotiations, the leader of an effort to redevelop the site of the former Lake Forest Plaza mall in eastern New Orleans said late today that he expects the New Orleans City Council to vote Thursday to approve a significant tax break for the project.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Council to vote Thursday on Lake Forest Plaza redevelopment

Sep 28, 2009

The council will once again take up the issue of a high-profile tax break. It would help a developer who says his vision will dramatically transform what used to be the Lake Forest Plaza.

Source: Fox 8 News, New Orleans

Councilwoman wants details on Lake Forest Plaza project

Sep 28, 2009

Before New Orleans City Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis supports a tax break for the former Lake Forest Plaza mall, developers and the city are going to have to answer some questions — quickly.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

More details sought on N.O. project

Sep 23, 2009

Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis, a major supporter of efforts in her district to redevelop the defunct Lake Forest Plaza into a modern lifestyle mall, has asked Mayor Ray Nagin to get more detailed information on the proposal and more assurances that the project will move forward as pitched.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Willard-Lewis letter to Nagin expresses concerns about mall project

Sep 22, 2009

Before New Orleans City Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis supports a tax break for Lake Forest Plaza mall, the developers and the city are going to have to answer some questions.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

City Council defers decision on special tax district for former Lake Forest Plaza mall

Sep 18, 2009

Over the objections of developer Cesar Burgos, the City Council deferred action Thursday on a tax break that Burgos has said he needs to redevelop the mostly vacant site of the former Lake Forest Plaza mall in eastern New Orleans.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Editorial: Lake Forest Plaza deal is too risky

Sep 17, 2009

The rebuilding of eastern New Orleans is vital to the city’s ongoing recovery, and city officials are right to look for ways to spark economic development there. But the deal being proposed by developers who want to use a portion of sales tax revenues to remake Lake Forest Plaza isn’t a smart way to achieve that goal.

Source: The Times-Picayune

BGR report criticizes Lake Forest Plaza financing district

Sep 17, 2009

A formal report by the Bureau of Governmental Research says that the proposed Lake Forest Plaza tax increment financing district that will be considered by the City Council Thursday is “fraught with problems.”

Source: The Times-Picayune

Council to decide fate of Lake Forest Plaza mall financing today

Sep 17, 2009

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Governmental Research released a report blasting the subsidy, saying tax dollars would be used to “pay for private problems.”

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Critics say proposed mall would help owners, not the city

Sep 16, 2009

A plan to use taxpayer money to develop a new mall at the site of the old Lake Forest Plaza, while touted as an effort to benefit New Orleans East residents, is actually a plan to benefit the property owners, according to the non-partisan Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: WWL-TV Eyewitness News

BGR critical of Lake Forest plan

Sep 16, 2009

If the defunct Lake Forest Plaza shopping mall is transformed into a modern lifestyle center, it will have a positive effect on sales and property tax collections in the city as it recaptures retail spending from other parishes, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the developers.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Lake Forest Plaza developers release economic impact study

Sep 14, 2009

When the developers of Lake Forest Plaza mall go before the New Orleans City Council this week to request a subsidy to refurbish the shuttered site, they have a new economic impact study to support their request.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

TIF tweaks will pay for Lake Forest retail center

Sep 14, 2009

Developers who plan to overhaul Lake Forest Plaza mall, an 81-acre eastern New Orleans shopping venue that has been shuttered since Hurricane Katrina, envision a sparkling new mall complete with big-box retail, restaurants, a police substation and an amphitheater.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

N.O. considers mall revival in struggling area

Sep 12, 2009

On Thursday, the New Orleans City Council is expected to consider a proposal to use future tax revenue to help transform the site of the defunct Lake Forest Plaza mall into a modern shopping center called the New Orleans East Marketplace.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Plans to redo N.O. mall detailed

Aug 12, 2009

Unveiling the most detailed plans yet for their proposed redevelopment of the mostly vacant site of the former Lake Forest Plaza mall in eastern New Orleans, developers Cesar Burgos and Ashton Ryan appeared to win several City Council members’ endorsement Tuesday for a tax break needed to let them move forward.

Source: The Times-Picayune

N.O. Mayor Ray Nagin unveils policy for TIF projects

Jul 18, 2009

After three years of study and discussion, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said Friday that he has issued an executive order establishing a city policy on use of tax increment financing.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Agency moves to use sales tax collections to help redevelop Lake Forest Plaza

Jun 12, 2009

Lake Forest Plaza moved a stop closer to revival on Friday, when a public agency agreed to use sales tax collections to help redevelop the eastern New Orleans shopping center, located in an area largely bereft of retail since Hurricane Katrina.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Changes to restoration tax abatement being considered

May 25, 2009

New Orleans City Councilwoman Stacy Head wants to tweak a city program that gives property tax breaks to developers upgrading outdated properties, but a key development official says more significant changes are needed to make the incentive worthwhile.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

Critical eye sought on developer tax breaks

May 20, 2009

With the board’s blessing, BGR began surveying what practices economic development boards in other cities have adopted for awarding tax breaks to housing developments, retail centers and other projects. Some of these practices will be a model for New Orleans.

Source: The Times-Picayune

Council capitulates to mayor yet one more time

Feb 8, 2009

It always makes me feel good when BGR gets my back.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

BGR pushes city to change economic development fund policy

Feb 4, 2009

A government watchdog group wants the City Council to change the law dealing with the way money from an economic development fund is allocated.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness

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