Auction of property near airport in Kenner to take place Friday

Thirty-one parcels representing scores or hundreds of vacant lots south and east of Louis Armstrong International Airport will be auctioned off to commercial developers Friday.

The land is located on portions of 23 city blocks in Kenner but is owned by the Federal Aviation Administration, which bought out local homeowners in the late 1980s to settle a lawsuit over excessive noise from planes overhead.

The auction will be held in the New Orleans City Council chamber at City Hall, 1300 Perdido St., at 9:30 a.m. The proceeds will go to the FAA.

Minimum starting bids have been established for each of the bundles, which include from one to 40 lots each.

The minimums range from $11,000 to $309,000.

If all the parcels are sold, the FAA will receive at least $3.2 million.

Prospective buyers will have to follow New Orleans’ surplus real estate auction procedures, coming up with a 10 percent deposit in cash, certified check or money order within 60 minutes of the completion of the auction. The rest of the price will be due at the act of sale.

The property is still zoned residential, but none of it can be used for homes or apartments, acting Kenner Mayor Michael Sigur said. Developers will have to go before Kenner’s Planning Commission and City Council with their projects proposed as “planned unit developments” and seek approval on a case-by-case basis.

Sigur said that while the city’s expectation is that the properties would be developed for commercial use, some light industrial uses might be considered, though he said input from citizens will play a part in any decision.

Sigur, who lives in the district and owns property across the street from one of the lots, said nearby residents are understandably leery about what the future might hold for many of the sites. Many owners who weren’t bought out wondered if they should have been, and after getting accustomed to living next to empty lots, they now face the prospect of living next to a business.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.

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