As city grows after Katrina, 3 neighborhoods top the list - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

As city grows after Katrina, 3 neighborhoods top the list

New Orleans is basking in the glow of a lot of gains lately, with the most recent being the number of people living in the city.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows substantial growth, making the city the fastest-growing in Louisiana.

"Really the most important thing driving population growth in a region is jobs, and we continue to grow jobs," said Allison Plyer, Executive Director and Chief Demographer with the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, which tracks the city's population.

New estimates from the Census Bureau show the city gained almost 9,000 residents in 2013. And population numbers for cities with 50,000 residents or more have the city's population at 378,715 - a 10.1 percent change from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013.

Before Hurricane Katrina flooded the city in 2005, the population was pegged at more than 455,000. 

Plyer said the new numbers give city officials and the business community a strong selling point in terms of recruiting new businesses.

"The city can say this is a great place to choose to live, we have good schools, we have great amenities," she said.

New Orleans, of course, has many distinct neighborhoods and in terms of growth, a few stand out.

"The Uptown areas actually are growing the fastest, followed by Lakeview, and then Mid-City," said Plyer.

Uptown's Freret Street is thriving.

"There's been a huge effort by local, like neighborhood developers and business owners after the storm to really continue making progress on the street, attracting businesses to the area," said Eva Sohl, Director of the Freret Neighborhood Center.

She said the area has a lot going for it as far as high-profile universities and hospitals.

"There's a lot of strength in Uptown, there's a lot of assets already," said Sohl.

In Mid-City, the growth is also significant.

"I didn't know how big we were. You don't really notice the in-fill as it occurs," said Jennifer Farwell, President of the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization.

She said annual mailings the group sends to households grew by an impressive amount.

"That's a 35 percent increase in four-and-a-half years," she said.

Farwell admits the rebound of Mid-City took time following the storm.

"It's a surprising indication to us," she said. "We've always thought Mid-City was a great neighborhood. We promoted it heavily after Katrina as an undiscovered jewel, but everybody wanted renovated historic homes, and redevelopment was slow," she said.

 Farwell said property values have exploded.

"Now in the last year we're seeing a lot of new construction. We never saw that before," said Farwell.


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