NEW ORLEANS – On a Monday night, Namese restaurant on Tulane Avenue is packed.
The Vietnamese restaurant is just one of the new businesses popping in the Tulane corridor in Mid-City. The area is undergoing a major renaissance.
“Life is coming back, and care is coming back to Tulane Avenue,” said District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.
“The last few months the area has been cleaning up quite a bit,” said Namese manager Denise Doan.
And Namese wants to continue the trend. That's why it's joining the effort to install crime cameras in the area.
“We want to make it safer for our guests, the community, overall for everybody,” said Doan.
The restaurant is donating 20 percent of its sales through Wednesday to Project NOLA, a non-profit organization that installs and monitors crime cameras.
The restaurant hopes to help install up to 10 Project NOLA crime cameras on Tulane Avenue.
“It would be cameras for around the area, not just our business,” said Doan.
The Greater Mid-City Business Association is spearheading the effort, and president Josef Wright said there is no limit to how many cameras will be installed, depending on the amount of money raised.
Cantrell has offered grant money for crime cameras to match what the community raises, as she has done in other growing corridors in her district, including Broad Street at Washington Avenue and Freret Street.
“We want to support on the ground efforts to revitalize the community,” said Cantrell.
Cantrell said Project NOLA cameras recently installed at Tulane Avenue businesses like the Capri Motel have already helped curb prostitution and drug trafficking.
“The crime cameras have been extremely effective,” said Cantrell.
And with the biomedical corridor and a $10 million streetscape project set to get underway in the fall, neighbors hope the area's resurgence continues, and they believe crime cameras will only help.
The Greater Mid-City Business Association says it will work with New Orleans Police and Project NOLA to decide where to put the cameras once the money is raised.
Each camera costs $295.