Welcome into this home with a nice bright foyer.

St. Tammany Parish is a desirable area to live in on the North Shore as it has been rapidly growing for a while now. In fact, the area had major road projects that were done and completed in 2019 along U.S. 190 between I-12 and Covington.

The project helped the flow of the northbound traffic on I-12 until it squeezed into one lane to go over the bridge at Bogue Falaya River. The old bridge was built in the 1940s and does not fit the traffic flow of today’s commute.

“It’s been an issue for years,” Parish Council member David Fitzgerald said. At times, he said, the congestion “is almost impenetrable.”

The parish’s population grew 13% between 2010 and 2020. Today there are around 270,000 residents with 330,000 registered vehicles. That means that U.S. 190 around the old bridge has around 70,000 vehicles on average a day.

They have begun a project to build a $30 million bridge to replace the current vintage bridge. The bridge will be done in two phases with the first being the one going northbound and the second will be southbound. The bridges will each have two 12-foot wide traffic lanes along with shoulders. The Department of Transportation and Development says the project is slated to be completed in 2025.

“We’re somewhat worried about the construction,” Colin Patrick, co-owner of the nearby Pat’s Seafood Market and Cajun Deli said, adding with a hopeful note: “I believe it’ll be good for business after it’s done.”

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Bush, Louisiana is the home to Wild Bush Farm & Vineyard where patrons can go and enjoy local wine. Their tasting room is quaint and even the place patrons can go to dine.

Chef Marcus Jacobs, co-founder of Marjie’s Grill and Seafood Sally’s, made the inaugural dinner over an open flamed grill that was next to the tasting room. Owners Monica Bourgeois and Neil Gernon are excited about the new possibilities for Wild Bush Farm & Vineyard.

Previously known as Pontchartrain Vineyards, Wild Bush, is just north of Covington in St. Tammany Parish. The scene is beautiful and looks like it has been plucked from a piece of land in California wine country.

In fact, currently, the wine that is produced at Wild Bush begins in the West Coast wine country. It is brought over and then finished at Wild Bush. The owners want to start growing grapes locally that can also produce wine. This Louisiana climate is tricky and it will take a “newly developed hybrid grape” to make it successful.

“It’s a playground for us,” Gernon said. “We don’t have rules for it. Does it taste good? How can we combine what grows here to make something that’s great, or does what we’re growing taste good enough to be a single varietal? There’s so much we can do here.”

So far, Wild Bush has four varieties that are grown on the property which include muscadine grapes, old-school Norton grapes and blueberries. “We want to change what people think about when they hear ‘Louisiana wine.’ We want to make something they can show friends from other places, and say this is what Louisiana wine can be,” Gernon said.

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A new retail and residential project will be proposed before the Mandeville City Council. The age-restricted community will be located on 15 acres on Mandeville’s lakefront at the location of Sucette Harbor.

There will be a meeting at City Hall where the council and residents can weigh in on the project. In fact, they are moving the voting event to a larger venue due to the size of the crowds. There will be many who will want to share their opinions about the project.

“We don’t want to wait forever on this, but there’s no reason to rush into a decision either,” says Chairman Rick Danielson.

The Mandeville Planning and Zoning Commission has already approved the project which will be around $150 million. It went through with a 4-3 vote so it was recommended to the City Council.

The LSU Health Foundation owns the land which is leased by the Sucette Harbor developer Woodward Interest. The land was originally dedicated to the foundation by Al Copeland’s family and Woodward Interests will use 60% of the lease money for cancer research and scholarships.

Many are against the luxury retirement community which will have 201 apartments for 55 and older, an 82-room boutique hotel, restaurants, an event center and a marina. Those that are opposed feel that the development will cause more traffic and congestion for the community. Mandeville is known for the beautiful oak treses which many on the land will have to be removed.

The council will take the votes and just move the project along for further discussion before a definite decision is made. “This has nothing to do with whether we (the council) want the project, do not want the project, like certain aspects or don’t like certain aspects,” Danielson told audience members.

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An amazing custom built home close to New Orleans.

Despite the increase in mortgage interest rates, home prices have remained stubbornly high for those real estate buyers who can still afford to purchase a new home for sale. The reason for this is that the market hasn’t recovered from the exceptional interest rates before and during the pandemic. Housing inventory remains low, which prompts bidding wars for available homes for sale. These bidding wars almost artificially inflate home prices, and the result has been a 1.4% increase in home value from April to May, which is the highest it’s been since June of 2022.

Even though this spring’s home buying season has been muted compared to the last two years, home buyers are still in the market to buy new and previously-owned homes in the Greater New Orleans area. Nationally, the average home value was at $346,856, almost 1% higher than a year ago and 3.4% more than the beginning of 2023.

During a normal real estate market, pricing tends to trend downward beginning in August, but experts are waiting to see what this year’s market brings. The Midwest had the highest monthly price increases, and New Orleans, considered one of the smallest markets, increased by .6%. The trend of abnormally low home inventory continues in 2023 with May showing a 23% drop in listings compared to May, 2022, and this percentage aligns with the same drop of inventory in March of this year of 22%.

In addition to the pandemic surge and buyout of existing land and houses, another factor in the abnormally low inventory has been the high mortgage interest rates. Homeowners don’t want to sell their home, which probably had a fantastic interest rate and buy a home at a significantly higher rate. Also, once they put their home on the market, and it sells, they may not be able to find a new home to move into. Overall, in a 4-year comparison of home inventory, May 2023, inventory is 3.1% less than May of 2022, and 45.7% less than May of 2019.

If you are looking to buy a new home or build a new home, Ron Lee Homes has available lots for sale and ready to build your new home. Consider getting started with your home building process and Contact Us Today!

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Proceeds from the Fest Support East St. Tammany Rainbow Child Care Center!

 

10th Annual Olde Town Pumpkin Fest

433 Erlanger Avenue
Slidell, LA 70458

October 7, 2023
11:00am – 4:00pm

 

Fun for the Whole Family – ponies, hay rides, food, entertainment, arts and crafts, inflatables, sticky wall, face painting and more!

Admission is free! There are ticketed activities that range from $1-$5. Food and drinks range from $1-$10.

 

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St. Tammany Parish shall soon be the recipients of a Costco location in Covington in the Nord du Lac shopping center off of Pinnacle Parkway. The location will be in “good company,” surrounded by such stores as Koh’s Department Store and Academy Sports + Outdoors, as well as the restaurants of Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, and Saltgrass Steak House.

This well-know area and location will be convenient to residents of Covington and Madisonville in the expansive shopping area off of Highway 21. The investment of approximately $48.5 million for the 159,000 square-foot store will add to many other profitable developments that have sprung up in the area in the last few years. Land clearing has begun for the project, which could take up to 16 months to finish construction.

According to a press release from St. Tammany Corporation, 75 new, full-time jobs with average salaries of $59,000 will be available once the store has opened, and there will also be 75 part-time jobs. The traffic to this new, big-box store in St. Tammany Parish is expected to produce approximately $60 million in sales and property taxes over the next 10 years.

Additional lanes on Interstate 12 have been completed, and construction on the “loop” that crosses over I-12 (Pinnacle Parkway) shall help with the new traffic that this new shopping area will produce.

“We are incredibly excited to see that construction is beginning on the new Costco on Pinnacle Parkway in Covington. We look forward to this great family-first company opening their doors, which will bring dozens of jobs and sales tax revenue to St. Tammany Parish,” St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper said.

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Spend the day with the Northshore Home Builders Association for Fishing & Fun!

 

2023 NHBA Annual Fishing Tournament

Rigolets Bait & Seafood
52250 US-90
Slidell, LA 70461

October 13, 2023
8:00am

Cash Prizes:

Redfish $1,000
Speckled Trout $1,000

Additional Prize Categories

Nothing over 27 inches

Black Drum
Flounder
Sheepshead
Junior
Ladies Division
Redfish with Most Spots

Pre-Registration Required – No On-Sight Registration

All anglers must be registered and paid for by 5:00PM, Friday, October 6, 2023.

 

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Visit the Market for Your Fall and Holiday Shopping!

 

Northshore Autumn Acres Vendor Market

Castine Center in Pelican Park
63350 Pelican Drive
Mandeville, LA 70448

September 9, 2023
10:00am

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LIVE Broadway performances, musical numbers, live auction, and MORE!

 

A Night of Broadway Benefiting New Heights

Southern Hotel
428 E Boston Street
Covington, LA 70433

July 21, 2023
7:00pm

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Visit the brewery to enjoy cuisine from many different food trucks!

 

July Food Truck Roundup

Abita Brewing Company
21084 Hwy 36.
Covington, LA 70433

July 7, 2023
5:30pm – 8:30pm

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