Monday, August 12, 2013

Sinking bubble

Over the weekend, The Advocate ran a long feature on the Wisner trust story Dambala has been all over these past several months. Do take a look.

We keep hearing about the bull market in local real estate. But it shouldn't be any surprise that land with a high value to oil and gas commerce should be at a premium as well. Note this throwaway from The Advocate's recent story about housing prices.
Blitch said real-estate agents are counting on the growing biomedical district and especially the introduction of the LSU Hospital in New Orleans to continue to push sales.

“That will bring a burst to the market,” Blitch said.

Other industries, such as oil and gas, which is getting a boost from hydraulic fracturing in Louisiana, and retail, which is growing at a fast pace in Elmwood and will soon include Costco in New Orleans, also will help to grow the housing market, Ragas said.
When Dambala began putting the Wisner stuff together, one of the first questions I had was how much is the whole shebang worth if they just sell it all off?  The "guesstimate" at that point was $600 - $800 million. Depending on whose numbers we believe, that could afford the city somewhere between eight and fourteen NOPD consent decrees.  Put that together with the rest of the FEMA money and maybe you've got NOPD and Gusman covered.

Something tells me Mitch will prefer to "public-private partner" it all away to Opryland or some such outfit. To that, Dambala adds an even darker thought.
If the City takes over the entire thing and Mitch is intent on selling it, who would realistically be able to buy it aside from the Port of Fourchon?

Hmmm....a massive oil company with interests in the Gulf could buy the land.  A massive oil company looking to buy the land in order to avoid a costly settlement for damage they may have caused from the largest oil spill in history could buy it....kind of like what happened with Cat Island in Mississippi.  That would explain a lot.
"Iconic Structure" Park. Brought to you by BP!  You can almost see it now. 

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