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Can A $110M Hospital Save New Orleans East?

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A new hospital may be the shot in the arm New Orleans East needs to continue its blight fight and win back its pre-Katrina industry. The East, an oft-ignored, suburban-ish development (in city limits, mind you) will be home to the $110 million East Orleans Community Hospital, set to open next summer. Still feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the blight that followed, residents in the East hope the hospital will trigger some business action. There's over 50,000 people in this part of town, which is lacking modern, every day conveniences like supermarket choices and retail options. Fast Forward Restart is all about helping the small biz scene in economically-ailing areas. They've teamed up with the Orleans Parish Hospital Service District, the Business Alliance, and Manning and Waggonner Ball Architects to concoct plans for a "town center in a pedestrian friendly development" that would fill empty storefronts with retail and office space.

The hospital isn't the only thing coming to town. There's a $3 million streetscape project in the works, a new police station and library, and construction starts this fall on Starlight Studios. A Wal-Mart recently broke ground and while the former Six Flags site is still up in the air, the aerospace industry is still going strong.
· Neighbors hope new hospital erases nearby blight [City Biz, sub. req.]
· Planned film studio in eastern New Orleans awarded tax break; construction to begin in fall []
· Abandoned amusement park plans at a standstill [Curbed NOLA]