NEW ORLEANS — Once upon a time, near the corner of Chartres Street and Elysian Fields Avenue, there was the home of the Dr. Nut bottling plant.
You might remember that as Ignatius J. Riley’s favorite soft drink.
These days, the plant that was popularized in “A Confederacy of Dunces,” is a canvas for graffiti -- and part of a massive real estate listing in the Marigny.
“I’m not shocked,” said Allison Gorlin, a Marigny resident. “People are selling right now. The market’s good in the neighborhood.”
The owner of seven properties -- bounded by Elysian Fields, Royal, Frenchmen and Chartres -- hopes to unload everything in one fell swoop. According to public records, those properties are owned by corporations registered to John MacGregor Fox.
Allen Johnson, president of the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association, said the listing has huge potential, but the size could be a problem for the neighborhood of small streets and antique homes that has seen outsized popular since Hurricane Katrina.
He and other neighbors noted that parking is already a problem.
“How much can you jam into these 19-century, 1830s-era streets?” Johnson asked. “We're already bumper-to-bumper on the streets here and this is the middle of the day.”
He said there are questions about if any possible development of the properties would happen as one major project or separately.
“It almost feels like they're throwing them all together as one project, and that's sort of how the ad came off,” Johnson said. “That's what got people's attention. What big thing is going in there next?”
Rick Stone, the agent who listed the property, said calls have begun to come in since the ad went up last week. Most callers have been locals, he said, but some have been national companies that would want to partner with someone local.
Listings for the properties -- including the popular Palace Market Frenchmen outdoor arts market -- indicate the new owner could use them for a number of things, including commercial purposes.
Unlike most real estate deals, this one has no asking price. Instead, bids are being accepted until Oct. 24.
That locals were showing early interest was welcome news to Johnson, the Faubourg neighborhood association president.
“You want to have somebody who knows the landscape,” he said. “It will be interesting to see who it is and what they plan to do here.”