25 May 2014
The commercial advancement of an area supplies positive impact on it’s residential community. Historic areas throughout New Orleans have seen this progress over time. When history is what makes the place what it is, the importance to keep that allure is imperative. Broadmoor, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, has been “movin’ on up” thanks to the Broadmoor Development Corporation (BDC), a non-profit established in 2006 to initially address the area’s housing needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Since their start, the corporation has held true to their mission, stating they “work to create a more healthy, diverse, and sustainable Broadmoor by minimizing blight, building homeowner assets, and promoting private investment.”
Even more reshaping is occurring under the drivable surface. The Southeast Louisiana (SELA) Flood Control Program, which is administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is responsible for the massive subterranean canal construction that’s impossible to dodge on Napoleon and Jefferson Avenues. Improving the current infrastructure of the canal system ensures appended defense during a storm surge. Safety overhauls such as these bring light to the area’s real estate market, something the BDC has maintained focus on for the current residents of the neighborhood and those that potentially relocate there. The Broadmoor Affordable Rentals program and reduced residential sales pricing on renovated flood-resilient projects has piqued interest across the board, warranting the need for more business developments to facilitate the growing habitat. The character-rich multicultural demographic furthers a real sense of unity while the lot and home sizes have proven to be well suited for budding families. Idealists seeking the gratification of rebirth and individuals out to discover their own New Orleans have gravitated to this history laden albeit up and coming region.
The businesses that have graced the neighborhood’s borders create a welcoming corridor from Toledano/Washington Avenue to Jefferson Avenue with well traveled small biz and restaurant speckled Napoleon Avenue and Broad Street in between. On the Mid-City side of the region Whole Foods Market has brought their mindful 365 brand and other health conscious organic products to loyal patrons halting the once necessary trek to the Uptown store on Magazine at Nashville. In this day and age, living in the confines of a zone with no coffee shop within walking or short driving distance is misery. Laurel Street Bakery is happy to be serving up caffeine and preservative-free baked goods in the 2700 block of Broad Street. Owner Hillary Guttman says, “When I was first approached to open a second Laurel Street Bakery, I met with LaToya Cantrell, the then president of the Broadmoor Improvement Association. I understood how resurrecting the Washington Avenue and Broad Street Business Corridor would play an important part in the Broadmoor plan. More than $8.7 million has been invested and thanks to local developer Green Coast Enterprises, people can shop, eat, buy a home, receive medical services, and even work on starting their own businesses. I’m really proud to be a part of this incredible community.”
In the same reinvigorated block, 3 Potato 4 dishes out baked potato wedges of sweet, russet, and red skin potatoes. The healthier than fried fries are accompanied by signature dipping sauces in a world of creative flavors. If you can smell the distinct scent of crawfish and crab boil in the air chances are you’re standing downwind from Cajun Seafood. The long established seafood corner store offers fried catfish, crab legs, crawfish, as well as other items like po-boys, potato salad, and the basic boil fixins. There’s usually a line out the door, so its no wonder C&A Seafood opened up not far away. C&A carries just about the same menu as Cajun, however Asian influence is heavy in the kitchen at this Jefferson Davis Parkway restaurant. You can order a fish plate and a stuffed crab, or opt for spring rolls and fried rice as your meal.
Bellegarde Bakery has a fine reputation for supplying some incredible breads to area retailers and restaurants. The commercial facility sits on Toledano Street where yeast thick plumes of steam help moisten and flavor the air. Local retailers include Langenstein’s grocery store, Cleaver and Co, Swirl Wines, St James Cheese Company, and Whole Foods on Broad Street. Gracious Bakery at Woodward Construction’s Jeff Davis Parkway base may be inches from the neighborhood’s outline on a map, but the Broadmoor area is considered home. Cross-town commuters can grab sustenance in the form of coffee, pastries, and handcrafted sandwiches en route to and fro the workplace. Down Broad’s church lined bend into the residential stretch of what becomes Napoleon Avenue at Fontainebleu Drive, a house-like facade of the Rosa Keller Library sits perched on a slightly elevated tidily landscaped piece of property. What used to be simply Green Dot Cafe is now owned by Cafe Hope, a Marrero-based non-profit. The organization provides job training skills for at risk youth and you’ll find the program’s graduates helping Chef Melissa Martin and manager Rachel Ferguson run the place. Cafe Hope’s Green Dot Cafe employs the non-profit’s students to exercise their fresh culinary skills and learn the ropes of the restaurant biz. Baked goods, such as strawberry basil and blackberry muffins, decorate the pastry case awhile vegetarian-friendly mains utilize Cafe Hope’s student farm and community garden produce. For the meat eaters, the cafe features proteins from Cleaver & Co. and the bread used for sandwiches comes from Bellegarde Bakery. A great meal, a good read, and a sense of community servitude can all be had under one roof; now that’s intelligent fare.
Ochsner Baptist rises tall answering the infirmary calls of nature and human err. The hospital returned emergency services to the Broadmoor area in 2009 with the opening of Community ER, expanded ICU, and private hospital wing. There’s certainly no lack of mainstream pharmacy or drugstore service at the corner of Claiborne and Napoleon. If CVS won’t do the trick you can head over to Walgreens on the opposing corner. The presence of nationally recognized chains suggests the market is definitely tapped by big league players and is blossoming to keep up with consumer demand where necessary. The BDC continues to encourage and invite innovative business owners and hopefuls to the area as a means to balance out the market and preserve the community’s charm.