Crescent City Comeback: Spotlight on Local Businesses After Katrina
Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans on a horrifying and unprecedented scale. Nearly 2,000 lives were lost, 300,000 homes were destroyed, and over $81 billion in property damage was done. Eleven years later, the Crescent City has risen anew from the depths of the floodwater. Today, New Orleans is moving forward with new residential and commercial construction. The city is remaking itself as a world-class city while preserving the historical, cultural, and spiritual traditions that have attracted visitors for centuries.
Getting businesses to return to the city, as well as attracting new entrepreneurs to established companies has been an ongoing process. By virtue of their height, many large office buildings bore some of the worst wind damage of any structures in the storm. In other offices, entire first floors had to be gutted and replaced due to water damage. Recovery began almost immediately, as federal and state disaster spending buoyed the local construction market. That work has progressed almost continuously since that time, with new restoration projects getting completed all over town. Innovative companies like Lucid and Kickboard are establishing themselves in town while incubators like Propeller and Idea Village grow the next generation of business leaders. The city is in the throes of a renaissance of national and international interest. Today, the spirit of innovation and joie de vivre that permeates one of America’s most iconic cities draws young, college-educated people from around the globe.
Of course, it wasn’t just a matter of finding places for folks to work. The city’s housing stock was severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina, and rebuilding neighborhoods continue to this day. One of the great draws of New Orleans is the beautiful architecture of its tree-lined boulevards. MLM, Inc., has undertaken countless historic remodeling projects, from the Holy Cross neighborhood all the way up to Carrollton. New Orleans’ homes are being restored to their former glory with the generous help from federal and state tax credits for renovation construction costs. Meanwhile, the city continues to reintroduce itself to the world stronger, smarter, and ready for the future.