Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS After sitting idle and gutted since Hurricane Katrina, there could soon be some life at the Lake Terrace shopping center in Gentilly.

Residents in the area have been frustrated with the lack of progress on the former strip mall.

David and Elizabeth Wyatt worked hard to rebuild in the area after the storm in 2005.

'The residents are putting so much effort to bring their homes back and bring their families back, it's time for the businesses to come back too,' said Elizabeth Wyatt.

The shopping center has sat virtually untouched for eight years, despite promises from its developer, Ken Charity.

However, in April, another businessman, Charles Ciaccio purchased a section of the property and now has development on the fast track.

A fence now separates the shopping center into two properties. Charity owns the back half where the unfinished building sits and Ciaccio owns the front. Ciaccio says he is moving forward no matter what happens to Charity's half.

He promises construction starting by October with a bank on one corner and a two-story commercial building on the other.

'The plan is to have a coffee shop, a sandwich shop, a dry cleaner, and I'm speaking with a couple of veterinarians,' he said.

'I think it's awesome,' said Elizabeth Wyatt.

Ciaccio is also hoping to get a deal done to place a grocery in the unfinished part of the development.

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