Real Estate

When was the last time you went East?

Have you headed East lately?

So often the fodder of my television news headlines, New Orleans East or Eastern New Orleans, whichever you prefer, gets a very bad rap.

Often, that bad rap is deserved.  Many areas are crime-ridden, desolate and blighted post-Katrina.  The largest suburb in New Orleans was inundated with water and the area hasn't recovered with the same zeal as the rest of the city.

However, there are signs of life.

Advocates tout the brand new hospital and retail development, along with schools and libraries.  Take a cruise down Bullard and you'd be amazed.

Today, I did just that.

Tucked away behind the bustling gas stations and grocery stores are two gorgeous gated developments: Eastover and Fairway Estates.  Situation among a number of small lakes, Eastover is particularly striking.  The homes are enormous, custom and offer beautiful views of the water.

I'd live there in a heartbeat.

Historic Rountree house saved by New Orleans renovator

New Orleans Rountree Bland House Courtesy Cygnette

This thing was ugly.  Dangerous too. When we moved into our home, looming behind us was a behemoth of a Gothic New Orleans mansion.  In its day, the Rountree house was a treasure, but through the years it became dilapidated- propped up with 2"x4"s and covered in blue tarp. 

Think I'm exaggerating?  Just read the articles below...

Over time, many people tried purchasing the historic home, designed by famed New Orleans architect James Freret.  However, caught up in a divorce proceeding, the owners were never willing to sell.  That is, until Andrea Bland came along.

Andrea is a true gift to New Orleans.  She's spearheaded incredible Uptown renovations, bringing homes many thought were too far gone back to their original glory.  She's been honored as Preservationist of the Year by the Preservation Resource Center.  It was a hard-earned title.  

When Andrea took on the 4,200 sq ft Rountree house, it was leaning a whopping 13."  A strong wind could have knocked this thing down.  Not to mention one of our famed New Orleans hurricanes.  Andrea straightened the home and stripped it down to the studs.  She then came back, carefully re-crafting every original detail, down to the ornate tin-lattice under the eves and the plaster medallions on the ceilings.

WGNO News reporter Deepak Saini followed her work on television.  Uptown Messenger writer Owen Courreges documented the progress in print.  Their research and storytelling weave an incredible tale.  The images are breathtaking.  Now complete, it's almost impossible to believe just how far Rountree... now Rountree-Bland...  has come.

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Read more (and check out BEFORE pictures) here:

Deepak Saini: Rountree Renovation: Preserving an iconic home

Owen Coureges: The slow, painful death of Josephine's leaning tower

Owen Courreges: The good, the bad and the ugly




1201 Canal: A view from the top

1201 Canal Street rooftop pool

1201 Canal Street rooftop pool

The fifth floor of 1201 Canal Street isn't a bad place to be.  The rooftop isn't either.

Unit 559 is available for rent, furnished, for $2750 per month.  The contemporary condo features soaring ceilings, open concept, two beds, two baths and amenities galore.  If you're not swimming in the rooftop pool, you can work out in the gym, take advantage of the valet or just admire the stunning views of the city.

Contact me for more information.


Queen Bey and Jay Z lay down roots in NOLA

Beyonce and Jay Z house in New Orleans

There's about to be new royalty in New Orleans.

The same week that we learned Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are selling their French Quarter property, word on the street has it that Beyonce and Jay Z have bought a house in New Orleans!

The Spanish Baroque property is a converted Presbyterian Church called La Casa de Castille, located in the Garden District.

For $2.6 million, the couple gets 13,292 square feet, 26 foot high ceilings, arched windows, three separate apartments and 22 rooms!

The mansion features a rooftop deck that's touted as the largest residential green roof in New Orleans.

Between Essence Fest, Super Bowl and hanging with her sister Solange, Queen Bey has been spending a lot of time in the city.  We're excited to hear she's laying down roots!

Brangelina's French Quarter mansion hits the market

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt sell French Quarter home

New Orleans may be saying farewell to our favorite celebrity couple.  Then again, they might just be sick of the French Quarter! Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have listed their 1830's New Orleans mansion with Latter and Blum for $6.5 million.  It's a steep price, at $850/sq ft.

Located at 521 Governor Nicholls Street, the home is 7,645 sq ft with custom designed marble mantles & fireplaces, crown moldings, grand spiral staircase, elevator, private spacious patio w/pool, chef's gourmet kitchen with top of the line appliances and laundry room.  You'll also get a separate guest house and private parking for two cars.

There's one thing the couple plans to take with them, however.  The dining room chandelier is excluded from the deal.

Jolie and Pitt first bought the house in 2006.

Watch the story here from WGNO News.

Check out another story here from TMZ.