New Orleans East is one of the largest areas in Orleans Parish and contains three of the city’s 25 Opportunity Zones. Predominantly low-density and residential, the area also contains the Michoud Assembly Facility, parts of the Port of New Orleans, and the former site of a Six Flags amusement park. Despite the availability of developable land and anchor assets, economic development in the area has stagnated relative to the rest of the city. Underpinning many of New Orleans East’s challenges is the decline of economic and residential desirability following the 1980’s oil bust and consequent disinvestment into the 1990’s, causing a decline of the area’s middle class. These challenges were exacerbated by Hurricane Katrina’s destruction and contributed to the fragility the community faces today. Despite this shift, there are noteworthy pockets of social capital among the predominantly African-American and Vietnamese residents, existing plans that can be leveraged, and significant assets in the district’s proximity to the Port, space-related industries at Michoud, and developable land at the former Six Flags location that can be the foundation for restoring the previous vitality of the community.

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