Zeeland Place/Zee Zee Gardens- Baton Rouge’s most Exclusive Historic Neighborhood

Zeeland Place/Zee Zee Gardens is a higherend mostly residential area developed between the 1930s-1950s. Unlike the Garden District or Capital Heights neighborhoods to the north, Zeeland Place never experienced any disinvestment and has remained one of Baton Rouge’s strongest real estate markets.

There is a decent concentration of restaurants, bars, and retail amenities along Perkins Rd and I-10 with some assemblance of urban form. But walkability isn’t great in Zeeland Place with mediocre public transit, a lack of sidewalks along residential streets, and very low density. But the neighborhood excels at more traditional suburban amenities including quality schools, low crime rate, good park access, a thick canopy, and well maintained homes. Zeeland Place has very convenient driving access to Dwtn and is pretty quick to bike to as well. Similar to Capital Heights, I don’t see much likelihood of a major urban transformation here but a good place to start would be creating more mixed-use apartments along the main throughfare, Perkins St.

Click here to view my Zeeland Place Album on my Flickr Page

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Solid access to Dwtn especially via car and bike. Public transit access is okay.
* A couple dedicated bike stations located in Zeeland plus a dedicate bike path nearby running thru City-Brooks Community Park.
* Lots of family households in Zeeland Place.
* Not a ton of schools but a handful large ones that are rated well.
* Pretty thick tree canopy here.
* Good access to the expansive City Brooks Community Park, but not much else in Zeeland Place Parkwise.
* Crime is very low here. Probably one of Baton’s Rouge’s safest communities.
* Attractive 1920s-1950 homes

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Very low density for an urban area.
* Sidewalk comprise only about 1/3 of all streets and are concentrated on the main streets. Really not ADA curbs to speak of.
* Connectivity is so so. Good number of dead end and curvilinear streets.
* Limited economic and racial diversity as this is higher end White neighborhood.
* Rentals are limited in Zeeland Place. What does exist is on the higher end.
* For sale housing is generally higher end. No 1-beds but a fair amount of 2-beds including a handful of condos. They sell btwn 150K-500K. 3 & 4 beds sell btwn 250K-650K. Handful of mansions in the district that sell for around 1M.
* Okay culturally including a decent # of food & beverage businesses concentrated along Perkins, convenient access to a couple museums at the City Brooks Community Park and a golf course.
,* Okay retail amenities including a Trader Joe’s, a bookstore, a couple gift shops & boutiques, a several banks,  a book store, several salons, a couple churches, a dessert joint and post office.
* A handful of commercial bldgs with decent urban form along Perkins but mostly strip malls and auto centric bldgs.

Capital Heights- An attractive 1920s/30s Historic Neighborhood in Baton Rouge’s Midtown District

I choose a tighter review area for Capital Heights between just Government St to the north and Claycut Road to the south. Development started in Capital Heights in 1918 and filled in by the 1950s. The district experienced some deterioration in the 60s-80s but stabilized in the 1990s thanks to a strong civic organization and sense of pride in the neighborhood.

Capital Heights excels with attractive 1920s-1930s homes, convenient access to Dwtn, and typical suburban amenities like good schools, low crime, decent retail amenities and a pretty thick tree canopy. Unfortunately walkability isn’t great here due to a lack of sidewalks along residential streets, low density, mediocre public transit service, a quasi- autocentric commercial district along Government St. I’d obviously like to see a lot more density in the neighborhood. The logical place to start is to building mixed-use apartment buildings along Government St. It would take a drastic redesign of the community for it to become a quality urban area.

Click here to view my Capital Heights Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Solid access to Dwtn being only a 10 minute drive to Dwtn.
* Great street connectivity.
* Nice pair of dedicate bike lanes going west to east but not bike stations in Capital Heights.
* Great economic and generational diversity. Rather poor racial diversity as 90% of the neighborhood is White.
* No schools within Capital Heights but several quality schools in nearby Garden District and a couple to the north.
* Pretty good mix of moderate and more expensive for sale housing. Really only a few 1-beds but good # of 2-beds that sell anywhere btwn 135K-335K, 3 & 4 beds sell between 250K-700K
* Solid tree cover.
 * Attractive 1930s & 1940 architecture.
* Decent cultural amenities including good # of restaurants, bars, and cafes along Government St. A couple art galleries, a couple live music venue.
* Decent retail amenities include a supermarket & a couple specialty grocers, a drug store, A YMCA, a couple gift shops and creative stores, a couple bakeries, a bike shop, a furniture store, a post office, and a couple churches.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Pretty low density of an urban district.
* Sidewalks and ADA curbs only exist along Government St. No sidewalks in the residential streets.
* Government St has few urban spots in Capital Heights but generally is pretty auto centric.
* So so public transit access.
* Rentals a bit limited but generally moderately priced. 1-beds lease 1K, 2-beds btwn 1K-1.5K, 3-beds btwn 1.5-2.5.
* Only a couple pockets parks within Capital Heights itself. Playground and golf course a block to the south.
* Other than some attractive mid-century architecture modern in-fill is modestly crummy auto centric infill.
* A couple decent stretches of urban form along Government St but generally is very autocentric. Streetscaping is decent however.
* Missing retail including a public library, hospital, medical offices, banks

Beuregard Town- A 19th Century District South of Downtown Baton Rouge

The Beauregard Town district is bordered by the freeway to the south and east, and North Ave to the north. This district goes all the way to the Mississippi River south of Government. North of here the western border is St. Louis St.

Beauregard Town is the second-oldest neighborhood in Baton Rouge and was designed during the Spanish period. With a unique street configuration, tree-lined boulevards at its borders, and open plazas throughout, it was envisioned as a new administrative center for the growing city as well as an elite new residential area. The neighborhood still contains important historic landmarks such as the Old State Capitol, the Old Governor’s Mansion, and other significant city and parish government buildings. The neighborhood’s plan was supposed to center on a cathedral square, from which four diagonally radiating streets led to open spaces and public buildings,. The street grid was realized but many lots remained empty until the late nineteenth century, when a building boom replaced open spaces set aside for public plazas. The neighborhood contains a diverse array of housing built throughout the 19th century as Baton Rouge’s growth was slow throughout much of the century.

From an urban perspective Beauregard Town benefits from its walkable proximity to Dwtn moderately priced historic homes, safety, and cultural amenities. But because growth was slow auto centric development and parking lots have scared much of the neighborhood’s fabric creating an often semi-urban environment. The district needs more density and retail options, better public transit, more walkable schools, and a complete rehaul to the auto centric Government Street corridor.

Click here to view my Beuregard Town Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Great access to Dwtn being adjacent to it.
* Great street grid including diagonal streets running to the center of the neighborhood.
* Good bike share coverage in Baton Rouge. Also a bike sharing lane runs down North Ave.
* Nice mix of affordable and moderately priced homes. A few 1-beds homes sell here for btwn 150K- the low 200Ks, 2-beds sell btwn 150L-350. 3 & 4 beds sell btwn 225K-450
* Generally a pretty safe area.
* Attractive late 19th century architecture with good variety of styles.
* Solid tree canopy.
* Good cultural amenities including a several restaurants, bars, a couple museums & casinos, a couple live music venues & night clubs, a couple breweries, the historic governor’s house, and convenient access to lots of cultural amenities Dwtn. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Very low density for an urban area.
* ADA compliant curbs are generally along  North Ave, Eastern Ave and Government St. Missing at most residential intersections.
* Decent but not great public transit access. Pretty limited for an inner city urban district.
* Not great demographic data on the neighborhood but appears to not have great racial and economic diversity.
* A couple good schools Dwtn and other small ones with mixed ratings.
* Rental options are moderately priced in Beauregard Town but pretty limited.
* In fill is a mixed bag. Good residential SF and MF buildings. Some crummy auto centric commercial bldgs esp. along Government St.
* Pedestrian activity is a pretty limited other than North Blvd.
* Retail amenities limited to a couple banks, gyms,. salons, several churches, and the main Dwtn library. Decent amount of dwtn retail amenities within 0.5-1.5 miles of the district.
* The main biz district Government St is pretty auto centric. So so urban massing through the rest of Beauregard Town but a good amount of surface parking.
* Parks are a bit limited in Beauregard Town but there is a nice recreational trail along the river, a pedestrian promenade within North Blvd. and several attractive plazas next to the public library and old Capitol Bldg.

West Riverside- Stable riverside neighborhood in New Orleans’ Uptown District

The West Riverside name is a modern invention by NOLA’s City Planning department to break up the vast Uptown/Carrollton Area. Not sure if locals even use the “West Riverside” name to refer to the neighborhood. Being along the river the West Riverside neighborhood really stops at Tchoupitoulas. South of here to the Mississippi River is a pretty inaccessible industrial area. The topology of the housing stock is mostly more modest shot guns and bungalows with some more regal Uptown housing mixed in. Housing prices, however, are almost as high as surrounding neighborhoods like Audubon and Uptown, which do have larger southern mansions.

West Riverside has a high level of walkability with convenient access to the lengthy Magazine business district, lots of bars, restaurants, & cafes mixed throughout the neighborhood, and good public transit access. There are several areas for improvement that prevent West Riverside from being a top NOLA neighborhood. That includes limited access to park and recreational space, mediocre schools, limited bike infrastructure,  a spotty tree canopy, and a rather autocentric/industrial corridor running down Tchoupitoulas Street. Like other Uptown neighborhoods, West Riverside could use more affordable housing options and racial diversity. 

Click here to view my New Orleans Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Decent urban density.
* Good public transit and solid access to Dwtn via biking, driving, and public transport.
* Highly efficient and gridded street grid.
* Good walkability thanks to hosting the Magazine commercial district throughout its entire length. Lots of mixed-use development through the district.
* Solid generational diversity with good age diversity and about 35% of households with kids.
* Good # of rentals, generally on the pricy side, but some more moderately priced options. 1-beds lease anywhere btwn 1K-2K, 2-beds rent btwn the low 1Ks to low 2Ks, also some 3-beds that lease anywhere btwn 2K-4K.
* ADA curb cuts exist on about 50% of all intersections. Generally good sidewalks but some bad spots in parts.
* Attractive historic housing but more modest that other Uptown neighborhoods with all the shot gun river houses here.
*Overall a very safe community.
* Good cultural amenities including a lots of good & bev bizs, several cafes and night clubs, and several live music venues.
* Solid retail amenities with 3 full service supermarkets, a couple drug stores, plenty of boutiques, gift shops & salons along Magazine Street, a couple book stores, a toy store, a couple banks, several florists, plenty of dessert shops, and a couple gyms. Also a public library, and a children’s hospital.
* Generally good urban massing along Magazine Street.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Dedicated bike lanes along Napoleon but nowhere else. West Riverside is unfortunately outside of the dedicated bike share zone.
* Economic diversity is pretty limited as this is a solid upper middle class neighborhood.
* For sale hsg is generally pretty expensive but some more modestly priced smaller options. 1-bed homes sell anywhere btwn 200K- 600K. 2-beds sell btwn 350K-850K. 3 & 4 beds sell anywhere btwn 450K-1.3M.
* Really no dedicated affordable hsg in the neighborhood.
* Parks amenities are so so . Great access to Audubon Park in the western age of the neighborhood. Pretty limited park access in the eastern half of the district.
* A decent # of schools within West Riverside and nearby mixing a several private and public/charter schools. Public/charter schools are not ranked well.
* Missing a local post office, few churches here, only a handful of medical offices, and o chain clothing or department stores.
* Modern architecture is mainly limited to crummy strip malls along Tchoupitoulas St and Magazine St. Some good infill homes. Tchoupitoulas is has some pretty bad autocentric stretches.
* Tree canopy is so so.

Audubon- One of New Orlean’s Wealthiest Uptown Districts

Audubon is Uptown NOLA’s  largest neighborhood by far covering more or less the area between Lowerline St to the west and Jefferson Ave to the east with the subtraction of West Riverside along the Mississippi. The name Audubon comes from Audubon Park, one of the largest parks in the city. The area is also known as the “University District,” as it is home of Tulane and Loyola Universities, as well as the former St. Mary’s Dominican College and Newcomb College.

Audubon is one of New Orleans wealthiest neighborhoods never really experiencing disinvestment except perhaps along its north edge by Claibourne Avenue. The portion of the district between St. Charles and the Mississippi River contains the most attractive historic homes from the late 19th century. This is also where the attractive Magazine Street business district runs through the neighborhood and Audubon Park is located. The Northern half of Audubon (btwn St. Charles Blvd and Claibourne) is more modest early 20th century development where the universities are located but with limited retail options.

Audubon excels with many quality schools, great park amenities at Audubon park, good retail & cultural amenities, good walkability, and is one of NOLA’s safest districts. Areas for improvement in Audubon include more affordable housing, better bike infrastructure, and more retail amenities especially in the northern half of the neighborhood.

Click here to view my Audubon Neighborhood on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Solid urban density.
* ADA curb cuts exist on about 50% of all intersections. Generally good sidewalks but some bad spots in parts.
* Just under 70% White but good diversity with about 10% of the population being Hispanic, Black, and Asian respectively.
* Generally higher incomes here but still a good amount of income diversity across the board.
* Age skews with colleges kids with Tulane and Loyola Universities here but large number of families w/ kids throughout the district.
* Solid public transit and good access to downtown via driving, biking, or public transit.
* Very connected and gridded street grid but with some intrusions with the universities.
* Audubon is one of the safest neighborhoods in NOLA, which helps it hold such a high image.
* Solid Historic architecture esp. south of St. Charles Blvd.
* Excellent tree canopy in Audubon.
* Good # of schools, especially Catholic private schools here. Several public and character schools as well that are generally rated well too.
* Great park amenities thanks to Audubon Park along with includes several lagoons, the NOLA Zoo, a golf course, several playgrounds & ballfields, walking/biking trails, and park shelters. Several quads at Tulane and Loyola as well not  much else.
* Good cultural amenities including a decent # of food & bev businesses, theaters & performing arts centers at Tulane & Loyola, a couple live music venues, and a couple museums and historic homes.
* Good retail amenities too including a Wholefoods and a local supermarket, a couple pharmacies, several boutiques and gift shops, a local bookstore and a couple university bookstores, a couple banks, a toy store, plenty of salons & barber shops, a couple wine stores, several bakeries/dessert shops & gyms, post office and library in the universities, several churches, and convenient access to a children’s hospital. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Dedicated bike lanes along St. Charles but nowhere else. Audubon is unfortunately outside of the dedicated bike share zone.
* Good # of rentals but on the pricy side. 1-beds lease btwn the low 1Ks to low 2Ks. 2-beds lease btwn 1.5K-3K. Plenty of 3 & 4 beds leasing as well where 3-beds generally lease btwn 2K-4K.
* For sale housing on the expensive side too but some smaller more moderately priced options. Some 1-bed options that sell anywhere btwn 150K-500K, 2-beds sell btwn 300K-1 M. 3 & 4 beds sell btwn 450K-2M with some larger mansions selling for even more.
* Dedicated affordable housing in the neighborhoods seems pretty limited.
* Most retail is concentrated along Magazine Street in the extreme Southeast section of the neighborhood.
* Only modern in-fill is concentrated in the universities.