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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

New development, businesses and home sales have helped ignite a real estate boom in the Bywater .

That formula is attracting investors and others wanting to preserve the artist-based community.

'You've got more buildings coming up, more business, more people are at work which helps change the economy,' said Keetrone Singleton.

The Bywater business owner opened up a restaurant on Congress Street back in 1982. He's seen the Bywater neighborhood blossom over the years especially after Katrina.

'They're doing some work there right now which would be a plus, which is why I want to make sure I get the business back up and running,' said Keetrone about a development plan called 'Reinventing the Crescent' which is moving forward.

The goal is to transform six miles of unused industrial and commercial space along the Mississippi River into a park and tourist attraction.

Ideas are also being kicked around to revamp an old Naval Base which the City of New Orleans will be taking over. In response, the Bywater real estate market is booming.

'The proximity to downtown, the Quarter and the general feel of the Bywater has really made a difference on the market,' said George Jeansonne with French Quarter Realty.

As the area grows in popularity, Jeansonne says it means it is costing more to rent or buy in the Bywater these days.

'This time last year only 20 homes had sold, which was actually pretty good for previous year. As of this year, 36 homes have sold and its gone up $15 dollars per square foot,' said Jeansonne.

In an effort to counter the spike in real estate prices, 67 artist lofts were built in the heart of the Bywater and on Friday night they were being celebrated.

HRI Properties finished the second phase of its artists loft about six months ago. The $11.3 million dollar project is complete with an artist gallery and sculpture garden.

'We feel like this is a great way to get people to stay in an area where they contributed to its resurgence,' said Josh Colleen with HRI Properties.

The affordable housing project was built to keep the creative community in New Orleans.

'This where the artists have always been and couldn't quite come back here after the storm, particularly with rents tripling in the area,' said Josh Collen with HRI Properties.

A sales and rental market that will likely continue to flourish as the landscape in the Bywater continues to undergo major change.

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