Business owners, elected leaders want to see progress at old Times-Picayune site

In Mid-City, just off Euphrosine Street and the Broad Street overpass, is blight that borders on area businesses.

“It’s a dilapidated construction site that has homeless people living in it,” said Wesley Thomas West, owner of Trident Supply.

West says he’s seen enough.

“It’s done a number on my property value and to look at it — it’s a horrible sight, you know,” said West.

The area West is complaining about is the old Times-Picayune newspaper site, just outside of downtown New Orleans.

The state representative for the area is Royce Duplessis.

“Look, I drive past it every day and I don’t know what is going on. It’s looking more and more like a forest,” Duplessis said.

WDSU Investigates went looking for answers.

Here’s where things stand.

The historic Times-Picayune building was torn down in spring of 2019 after the newspaper was sold.

In 2019, the property owner — Joe Jaeger — leased the entire site to a golf entertainment company called “Drive Shack.”

That company started construction on the site 2019 but ended up in a legal fight with several contractors who claim in court documents that they weren’t being paid.

A written statement from Drive Shack says: “While we don’t generally comment on ongoing litigation, we are still committed to our lease and will let you know when there are additional updates.”

Jaeger, a well-known developer in the city, says: “(Drive Shack) have been paying us rent from the start and have never been late with a payment.”

“Something needs to happen there. It’s a prime piece of real estate and is one of the first things you see when you come into the city,” Duplessis said.

But it looks like any progress could be months, if not years, from becoming reality.

“The nicest building coming into this area recently is the new jail they built. It would be nice to see them build something,” West said.

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