The Lafitte Greenway Project this month purchased the final parcel of land it needs to create a 3.1-mile linear park connecting neighborhoods from the French Quarter to Lakeview. The 16.5-acre parcel along the Lafitte Corridor in Mid-City was the site of the defunct Louisiana Institute of Film Technology (LIFT) Studio; the $3.8 million cost of the land was funded by a Community Development Block Grant.
"Bringing this land back into public hands serves as a maximal realization of this project," Bart Everson, president of Friends of the Lafitte Corridor, said of acquiring the parcel of land.
The Greenway Project, which began in 2006, seeks to create a corridor of continuous parks, bike trails, recreational facilities and open public spaces to provide pedestrians and nonmotorized vehicles a safe passage in the area and to increase outdoor activities. Everson says the acquisition of the former LIFT Studio site makes the project even better. "This land will be the widest part of the corridor, and it has the most potential for creative stuff to happen," he says. "It could be the most interesting part of the greenway."
After numerous setbacks, Everson says he's happy to see the project gaining momentum again. "It's very heartening to see (Mayor) Mitch Landrieu's support on this," he says. "We are hoping the administration will proceed expeditiously."
The next steps are selecting design and construction teams, says Everson, who hopes to schedule a groundbreaking ceremony within a year. —Sarah Eddington