NEW ORLEANS – The site of the old Lake Forest Plaza Mall has been an eyesore for years, but now it’s a place where many people see an opportunity.

It has been almost ten years since the old mall was torn down in New Orleans East.

With the new City Council starting in May, City Councilwoman-elect Cindy Nguyen, of District E, shared her thoughts on the issue.

“Of course, the Plaza has sat for going on 13 years, and community has rebuilt and the people here deserve development. Not just the people in District E, but the city of New Orleans and the state,” she said.

However, Nguyen said she is not waiting to get sworn in to start working on it.

“Right now, what I am doing is exploring options. Meeting with community members, hosting coffee and conversations with the community and getting their input on it,” she said.

Residents in New Orleans East have been pretty clear about what they want to see at the site.

“People want retail, people want dinning. People say you know, I go to Jefferson Parish, St. Tammany Parish, I give them my money, but it's not staying in our community. So, I recognize that those amenities are very important,” Nguyen said.

The vacant lot proves that getting those amenities is easier said than done, but Nguyen is looking at places already thriving in New Orleans East as a guide.

“I think about when Dong Phuong Bakery, is in the East and received that award right? People would travel from Baton Rouge to get their King Cake, so that is where my mindset is at. Getting innovative projects that other places don't have that we have in the E,” she said.