Business & Economy,
July 26th, 2012
The lush branches of the majestic oak trees lining New Orleans’ historic St. Charles Avenue have never looked more glorious than they do now. Not even before Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, which left behind barren, crippled centuries old bark nearly seven years ago, have the oaks looked so strong, green, and healthy.
Pre-Katrina New Orleans also witnessed a lapse of weakening industries, an increasing outward migration of residents, a declining school system, and a corrupt political system. For decades, the city had been in a constant state of decline. However, Katrina’s devastation brought on new life for New Orleans. It brought attention to a city in need, restored love and appreciation to those who had taken advantage of it, and gave new opportunities to those individuals who were introduced to the city for the first time.
“Before Katrina, New Orleans was a deteriorating asset,” explained Michael Hecht, president and CEO of the region’s economic development organization, Greater New Orleans, Inc. “It was a city that had an uncertain future. Without proper leadership and under managed assets, no one was investing in it.”