Here is a hint…..

This past Wednesday when I revealed that I had again visited the Lafayette Square Wino I ended the post with a question the Wino insisted I ask the Slabbed Nation:

If the Kelvin Landfill (JPL) closes as part of a deal with River Birch, where will Team River Birch get the land to expand their landfill down the line? (Hint. Industrial zoned land sports the highest valuations.)

Here is a great hint courtesy of Steve.

Remember folks, the people pulling the strings of crooked pols like Chris Roberts think way far out in the future.


14 thoughts on “Here is a hint…..”

  1. Do you mean the land that his father paid one million for in the 60’s then the parish proceeded to pay him $500,000 to build a levee on it and then built a pumping station to drain the land? They created a drainage district all for him. It is the same thing over and over and no one learns, no one listens, no one cares. It’s all online, google it. Yeah, why shouldn’t we pay him even more money for hanging onto all this land for us.

    I wonder if he even pays taxes on this land.

  2. If the Kelvin Landfill (JPL) closes as part of a deal with River Birch, where will Team River Birch get the land to expand their landfill down the line? (Hint. Industrial zoned land sports the highest valuations.)

    ANSWER: They can buy the Jefferson Parish Landfill. It is, after all, zoned as a Landfill.

  3. Unoalum wins the prize as our researcher tells us that Marsh Investment Corp and affiliated entities still own lots of land in that area including next door. That link to the LA DEQ River Birch app left by Steve has some dynamite background info and history of that area and how JPL and River Birch evolved through time. The pdfs are very large files so you have to patient when downloading them.

    Hey Nolacat do you think Team Ward/Heebe would pay what their hired gun Loren Scott says the value of the air space at JPL is worth? I think the business model is to cut certain people in for a percentage.

    If this evolves into a racketeering prosecution, somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to recall there are some very draconian forfeiture provisions. There are some rats on top the pile of trash at the dump forfeiture more than anything else may be the long term cure to the metro areas trash disposal problems.


  4. Steve states, “Who is Joseph C. Marcello mentioned in this land transaction as a sectary of a corporation? Marsh Investment Corporation.”

    Per LA SOS that’s not the name under secretary right now. He only shows as president.

  5. Maybe it just me, learning that my hunch about Chris Cox being very connected to JP politics by way of his father was a fact, so my gut rumbles again.

    When you read that both Broussard and Lee are gung-ho about somebody’s checkbook, it makes me wonder…

    And now an excerpt from the T-P story:

    “Developer Laney Chouest, a retired doctor from Galliano who now lives in New Orleans, said the track will have several high-end amenities, including a clubhouse and upscale condominiums built over garages dubbed “Garage Mahals.”

    “Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard and Parish Councilman Byron Lee, whose district includes the planned track, voiced full-throated support for the project at Wednesday night’s

    “It’s not often that we have people who come to us with big ideas that they can back up with their checkbooks, ” Lee said. “This is going to be a world-class facility right in our back yards.”

    Chouest leases the property from Joe Marcello…hmmmmmmmmmm…location, location, location !

  6. I’m sure y’all remember this but it seems to fit here, though it has a lot more context for me now; 12/6/05 TP:

    “20,000 new homes planned for West Jeff – Powerful partners want deal expedited

    A California home builder plans to develop a West Bank community with as many as 20,000 houses, marking the first major investment in the region since Hurricane Katrina destroyed or damaged about 200,000 homes.

    “We want to rebuild New Orleans,” said Bruce Karatz, chairman and chief executive of KB Home, which has partnered with the Shaw Group of Baton Rouge to buy a 3,000-acre tract near Avondale.

    The two companies will work together to build condominiums, townhomes, single-family homes and retail stores on the property.

    “We’re talking a new city,” said Steve Dwyer, an attorney representing Joseph Marcello , the landowner who contracted to sell the Churchill Farms property, as the tract is known, to the partnership for an undisclosed sum. The Marcello tract has long been considered one of the last big tracts in the metro area suitable for development because of its elevation.

    The KB Home project, arguably one of the largest real estate deals in the area’s history, will be officially announced this morning at a news conference. But the proposal has already won the backing of Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard , who has been briefed on the project.

    “I think this is the most exciting news Jefferson Parish can hope for at this time,” Broussard said. “Anytime two major national corporations make a commitment to come into this parish speaks of the confidence in the rebirth and resurgence.

    “These are major players putting their money where their mouths are,” he said. “They are anticipating a great influx of people coming to Jefferson.”

    Ready labor pool

    The Shaw Group, a consulting, engineering and construction firm, will bring more than its building expertise to the partnership with KB. Shaw also has a ready pool of workers in a market where labor is hard to come by.

    “We’ve got the labor,” said Jim Bernhard, Shaw’s chairman and chief executive officer. “I think we can get it done. Everyone needs a home to stay in.”

    Karatz said the partnership between Shaw and KB Home makes for a powerful entity, and he thinks the two can get the job done quickly.

    But he said he’ll need the cooperation of local officials to expedite the necessary regulatory proceedings.

    “What normally takes three months, we need done in weeks,” said Karatz, who met with Gov. Kathleen Blanco on Monday to brief her on the project. The governor’s office couldn’t comment on the meeting late Monday.

    Broussard said he will try to expedite any red tape.

    “Timing is so critical” for the developers, Broussard said. KB Home and Shaw have “got to get into the marketplace to be a very competitive option.”

    Bringing evacuees back

    Furthermore, the availability of attractive new construction could help lure evacuees back, Broussard said.

    “There’s a work force that has to get back into this area,” he said. “We’re contingent on housing to sustain the rebirth of the hospitality industry. This is virgin acreage available immediately to the marketplace.”

    Byron Lee, the Jefferson Parish councilman whose 3rd District includes Churchill Farms, said he “certainly welcomes a Fortune 500 company coming to Jefferson Parish.”

    The land is off U.S. 90 near Lapalco Boulevard, roughly running from Nicole Boulevard to the hurricane protection levee in the Avondale-Waggaman area. Karatz did not offer a specific completion date for the project and would not reveal its cost. … ”

    – 12/11/05 TP:

    “Jefferson Parish officials figured it would be 20 years before they had to worry about major development at the far reaches of the West Bank. With population growth nearly stagnant, the need for thousands of new homes on almost 10,000 acres was far from imminent, leaving plenty of time to study model communities and avoid the mind-numbing evolution of helter-skelter East Jefferson.

    Then Hurricane Katrina swamped most of New Orleans and nearly all of St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, rendering an estimated 200,000 families homeless. And Jefferson suddenly found itself sitting on one of the metropolitan region’s last bastions for residential development.

    Now, three months after the Aug. 29 storm, part of the fallow tract has been tapped by KB Home of California in a joint venture with Shaw Group of Baton Rouge for construction of as many as 20,000 residential units, possibly beginning within six months.

    The surprising proposal has excited local officials, who call it a positive commitment by out-of-state investors who might otherwise ignore this battered place. They say it could stimulate redevelopment of New Orleans and the coastal parishes, as well as draw new industry to West Jefferson, which was relatively unscathed by Katrina.

    In its most ambitious scope, the plan could boost by 20 percent or more West Jefferson’s population of 197,965 people. And it would be a virtual steroid for new-home construction in the parish, which issued permits in 2004 for just 1,035 single-family houses, two apartment buildings and one duplex.

    But the proposed deal, which hinges on the purchase of 3,000 acres of the Churchill Farms tract owned by Joseph Marcello , has raised questions about who might reside on the now-barren swath, what kinds of houses would sell at what prices and how the community could be designed. On its face, the proposition has irked some local builders, who say southeast Louisiana’s rebuilding effort should employ local companies.

    The proposal also has sparked discussion of whether Jefferson’s governmental agencies, all of them strapped in the revenue-weary post-disaster world, can support infrastructure, schools and other crucial services. And it has inflamed the already burning question of whether people should build in low-lying southeast Louisiana, especially without the federal promise of Category 5 levee protection.

    Representatives of the venture say it is too soon to provide any accurate answers, though they said last week that when designs are presented, they hope elected officials will hasten the bureaucratic process from government’s typical lag to the rapid pace of private business.

    That response has unnerved some local leaders, who say the process should be painstaking, given that it is Jefferson’s last chance to build on virgin ground. Several said they want the property to develop under a mixed-use model, melding varied housing types amid nearby stores and common green space.

    Whatever the outcome, the pace of planning is sure to quicken, at least compared with the original scope, as Jefferson turns its pre-Katrina crawl into a race toward manifest destiny.

    “I thought we were going to have the last great gold rush of housing on the West Bank that was going to be spurred by (expansion of) the Huey P. Long Bridge,” Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard said. “Now because of Katrina, this marketplace is going to be expedited.”

    For its bottom line, the new homes could be a boon for Jefferson, as well as being one of the largest residential building projects in the area’s history. KB Home Chairman Bruce Karatz said his houses could sell for $150,000 to $250,000, aimed at first-time and move-up buyers.

    The midpoint of that estimate would generate $31.2 million in parishwide property taxes, which would pay for parish government, law enforcement and public schools, according to a parish Finance Department estimate.”

    — 1/3/06 TP:

    “A year after they trumpeted a national developer’s promise to pump 20,000 homes into the region’s storm-depleted housing stock, Jefferson Parish leaders characterized the death of the plans as a welcome chance to build up public services in anticipation of future growth.”

    “But in the ensuing months, the builder scaled back its plans piece by piece until negotiations with property sellers Churchill Farms dissolved this fall.

    Jefferson Parish leaders said they were not taken aback by confirmation of the failed endeavor, and some admitted that they doubted, when the ambitious project was first hyped, that it would become reality.

    “It was very slow in coming after a pretty boisterous announcement,” said Tim Coulon, a member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority board of directors and former Jefferson Parish president. “(But) I don’t read anything real negative into their decision. It was obviously a business decision; they couldn’t come to terms on the land.”

    Parish President Aaron Broussard said the news allows administrators to return to their preparations for upgrading public services ahead of more measured growth over the next 20 years.

    “We certainly regret the fact that we lose the immediate benefits of that, but on the opposite side of the scale, it buys us more time to improve our infrastructure to accommodate that kind of growth,” he said.

    Broussard said the derailed project certainly shouldn’t be seen as an indication that the parish’s largest undeveloped areas on the West Bank are less viable for subdivisions or business parks. He and other local leaders predict Jefferson’s final major growth spurt will come with the completion of the $660 million project to widen the 71-year-old Huey P. Long Bridge in 2011.

    Development costs high

    Land owner Joe Marcello blamed the fizzled negotiations on market forces that pushed KB Home to pare down its offer to just the 100 acres bounded by the Tournament Players Club and Lapalco and Nicole boulevards — a sliver of the original proposal.

    KB Home’s stock has taken a downturn since the company announced the Avondale project, in direct response to the plummeting sales of new houses nationally. The builder’s shares traded at about $52 this week, following a 52-week high of $81.99 in January and $37.89 low in July.

    Marcello balked at the anemic offer, electing to hold on to the contiguous tract for a development with a master plan for using all 3,000 acres.

    “The landowner said, ‘I’m not going to sell you 100 acres of prime filet and potentially jeopardize what I’m able to do with the entire tract,’ ” said Don Randon, a developer who represented Marcello in negotiations with KB Home and Shaw.”

    “Marcello said he’s wooing three sets of developers in the next few weeks from national firms in Chicago, Florida and New York. He said no deficiencies in the land soured the KB Home deal, and the nearby golf course and future Churchill Technology and Business Park remain attractive draws.

    “There’s a lot of interest; it’s going to be developed,” he said.”


    20 year plan (like River Birch).

    On that Hwy. 90 corridor.

    Of course JEDCO is now developing Churchill.

    Broussard + Marcello.

  7. The secretary/treasurer for Marsh shown on the LA SOS is Joe Marcello’s daughter.


    Here’s an interesting report in the 2/14/04 TP (didn’t RB start up a putsch to get the landfill contract right around then or right after?), exactly 7 years ago today, showing transactions from January 12-20, 2004:

    “Willswood Plantation subdivision, contains 87.82 acres. Marsh Investment Corp. to River Birch Inc., $1,419,873.”

  8. -07.16.97 TP:


    “””A five-year veil of secrecy lifted Tuesday, revealing that West Bank landfill owner Joseph Marcello pockets millions of dollars that parish officials said could go toward closing the substandard Greater New Orleans Landfill.

    Marcello associate Joseph Segreto testified during a 3 1/2 -hour deposition Tuesday that GNOL Inc., which operates the Waggaman landfill, pays one fourth of its dumping fees to Marcello’s company, Southern Recovery Management, which owns the land where GNOL is located. Marcello is Southern Recovery’s sole shareholder, Segreto testified.

    From 1994 to 1996, the 25 percent royalty totals $4.6 million – $2.1 million paid to Marcello’s company, with another $2.5 million owed in deferred payments, Segreto testified.

    The deposition was held after 24th Judicial District Judge Clarence McManus ruled financial records of Southern Recovery and GNOL could not be kept secret. Jefferson Parish officials and GNOL opponents have been hoping to inspect the landfill’s records since it reopened in 1992 after being closed for five years because of environmental violations. GNOL officials had claimed the financial records are not relevant to the legal dispute over whether Jefferson can use zoning laws to close the landfill.

    Segreto’s revelations enraged Jefferson Parish officials, who have criticized a 1995 agreement between GNOL and the state Department of Environmental Quality that allows the landfill to stay open until the end of the century to collect enough money to close in an environmentally safe manner.

    “I was shocked,” parish attorney Peter Butler Sr. said. “These are the people that came in 1992 and again in 1995 and cried poverty, saying they didn’t have the funds to close the landfill.”

    GNOL was shut down in 1987 for repeated environmental violations. At the time, the landfill was owned by another company in which Marcello had an interest, Marsh Investments , and was operated by Jefferson Disposal Co.

    In 1992, the landfill reopened under the ownership of Southern Recovery, which paid $200,000 for the 323-acre landfill site, according to Segreto’s testimony.”””

  9. .09.24.05 TP:

    “The GNOL site has had several corporate owners and operators, but the leading cast of characters has changed little over the years. When the site closed in 1986, it was owned by Marsh Investments , whose major stockholders included Joseph C. Marcello. Marcello is the son of the late reputed New Orleans organized crime boss Carlos Marcello. S. Joseph Segreto, a former employee of Joseph Marcello’s Pelican Tomato Co., is president of the company that owns the landfill.”

    1. Tele, back when we posted on the Robin lawsuit our researcher and I ran across HWY 90 LLC and if memory serves it was owned by the Marcellos but I could be wrong about that. I’ll go back and check my notes from around a year ago and see if I can clarify this.

      I think it was mentioned in the DEQ paperwork we linked.


  10. Ok, I guess I should clarify after looking at this again:

    – The assessor’s site is inconsistent. The property address should be under “Location” and typically it is. Here this appears to actually be entered as the address of Hwy.-90, not the actual sale of the 2000 BC address.

    In the original post, this is what I was looking at:

    “Willswood Plantation subdivision, lot B-2. Willswood Plantation LLC to Hwy-90 , LLC, $36,731.” – 08.09.03 TP – Obviously that’s not the sale of the Belle Chasse address either.

    But what is there is indication of transfers of beaucoup property from Willswood to River Birch and Hwy.-90 LLC, and further the connection of Marsh Investments to Willswood.

    It seems to be quite frequent that property (or certain property) apparently does not get listed in the JP assessor online database.

  11. I looked at the deq link this week end and the only deed that looked strange to me was the condemnation parcel.

    The deed on Oct 1, 2002 between Marsh Investment Corp and River Birch mentions an Exhibit B which contains 78.5853 acres. It is not clear whether this acreage is included in the sale.

    Further down is Dec 11, 2002 deed between Parish of Jefferson and HWY 90 LLC (Albert J Ward, Jr) for 78.598 and 78.58 acres which was a land swap between the parish and Ward. I believe this was an outright swap with no money changing hands though I’m not sure.

    What I find intriguing is mention of Jefferson Parish v Marsh Investments regarding an expropriation by the parish for land in 1981. This was appealed to the Fourth Circuit and resulted in Marcello receiving a right of first refusal on any land that is subsequently sold to a third party. There is no way to tell in these land deeds whether the condemned parcel was in play between the three parties but I believe it was. I would be interested to know if Marcello reimbursed the parish for any land that was swapped or sold to River Birch.

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