Address: 301 N. Jefferson Davis Pkwy
Owner: St. Margaret’s Daughters Home
OPBOA Assessed Property Value: $6,048,930
Unoccupied Since: 2005
Damage Assessment: Unknown
Status: No Current Code Violations
The Lindy Boggs Medical Center, a 187-bed hospital named for the first female representative from Louisiana, began providing medical care in the1920s. During Katrina, the hospital stayed open, acting as shelter for staff, patients, their families and, as more than six feet of water inundated the surrounding Mid-City neighborhood (read more about Lindy Boggs during Katrina here).
Since the storm, the future use of the building has been a somewhat contentious issue. Tenet, a for profit healthcare corporation that owned Lindy Boggs and a number of other medical facilities before the storm, entered into negotiations with Ochsner to buy up and redevelop its facilities, Ochsner bought only three of the five. According to the Times-Picayune , Ochsner chose not to purchase Lindy Boggs due to the extent of the damage, though some have debated the truth of this assessment. While declining to purchase the hospital itself did not spark resentment, the terms under which Tenet did manage to offload the property, in 2007 to Victory Real Estate, a Georgia based company assembling land in Mid-City for retail development raised some eyebrows. According to a clause in the contract, inserted by Ochsner as part of its agreement to purchase Tenet’s other properties, Victory Real Estate was prohibited from redeveloping the facility as a hospital and actually required to demolish the property.
As with the old Bohn Ford dealership (below), the neighbors and the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization were bothered both by the real estate companies plans to build a big-box store and their lack of cooperation with the neighborhood. The contractual obligation not to reopen a hospital in Mid-City added to the frustration. Yet, after numerous denials and a long fight by residents, in 2007, Victory Real Estate was granted a demolition permit for the structure, though the recession seems to have prevented them from taking advantage of it, as the building still stands.
Now, the facility looks like it finally has an owner with plans for the site. In June of 2009, St Margaret’s Daughters Home, a retirement facility in the Bywater, entered into a tentative purchase agreement with Victory (discussed further here) and, on April 30, 2010, they purchased the building for $4.2 Million, less than half the $9.3 Million Victory initially paid for it. While St. Margaret’s has not returned the Blight Blog’s request for comment, it according to the T-P, they are planning to use it as a rest home, it is unclear if they will use it in tandem with or instead of their Bywater location.