From a native New Orleanian planner friend who is living away right now:
What do you think about this:
Seems like it could be cool. But I don’t like the urban design. Apparently Covington is the new model?? Oy vey.
let's see what do I think of it..
1. City Hall should leverage the national chain's interest in reviving corridors by getting added amenities, such as useable green space, native plantings and or a second location in an area actually needing a store, like Gentilly Blvd.
2. Why are they not going on Gentilly Blvd?
3. The name, "Mid City Market" is a slap in the face of the American Can farmers market.
4. The Pinkberry idea is a slap in the face of Angelo Brocato's.
4. Winn-Dixie is grasping at straws to regain its foothold and it will succeed as well as Borders opening on Louisiana Ave did (closed after 3 years.)
5. The neighbors have no idea at what point too much commercial will take over their nearby residential areas because no one has studied it for New Orleans. I believe this will give Carrollton gridlock such as we have never seen and nuisances like added trash that will finally encourage people to sell and move to a more green area.
6. After the gridlock scares everyone away, the retail stores that are national chains will melt away in 2-3 years and move to a new location where they can again capitalize on new store sales.
So. Not much. No imagination, no guts, no real answers except more fly-by-night retail with more concrete in a sinking city.