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KEVIN DAVIS

ur parish continues to experience growth in both business and culture. We have had our share of difficulties as the rest of the nation, but thankfully our economy is once again growing. When this is combined with our parish’s excellence in education, artistic endeavors, and overall quality of life, it’s easy to see why we love this part of Louisiana so much. Business in St. Tammany Parish is very important to the overall health of our home. We need to make every effort to support our local businesses. We can all help to keep business dollars in St. Tammany and benefitting our citizens by shopping locally. Our local merchants, artists and shops all offer a wide array of services and unique products, and taking advantage of these services invests right back into our local economy. When we spend our money locally, it stays local and goes to improving our own roads, schools, and infrastructure. Let’s make an effort to spend our money right here in St. Tammany Parish. Our merchants are our neighbors, and we all benefit when we keep business at home. -Kevin Davis St. Tammany Parish president

From your Chamber CEO

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he primary purpose of any Chamber of Commerce is to create an atmosphere where commerce can occur in the community. Chambers, like cities and towns, come in all sizes and typically have different missions and goals. But one thing all Chambers have in common is that we want our local businesses to succeed! We want them to have customers, to have their customer base grow, to enable them to both survive and thrive. We live in an amazing region, next door to the most culturally rich city in the U.S.A., and hometown to many of us who now call St. Tammany home. Who can stay away from the rich cultural experiences offered in New Orleans—Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras and more! That said, we are blessed throughout St. Tammany with an unbelievable richness of choices for shopping, dining and special events. Our cultural community is thriving, LACEY TOLEDANO earning accolades for its groundbreaking work on creating the Louisiana Cultural Districts where original artwork is tax exempt. Are there any restaurants in New Orleans finer than Dakota, La Provence, N’tini’s or Nuvolari’s, to name just a few? As if we need any other incentive to shop at home, consider the fact that by supporting your neighbors, you enhance their ability to support you. Money spent at home tends to stay home, as it circulates and supports our local families. The sales tax dollars stay here. The businesses here support the ever growing myriad of non-profits that also contribute greatly to the quality of life we enjoy. As restaurant and retail shopping choices grow, we have also seen a marked increase in job creation, the most recent of which is Globalstar, and other major employers that have recently located in West St. Tammany. East St Tammany has enjoyed the same boom, and we are home to many new residents and the businesses that they operate or are employed by. The St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce is honored to count more than 1,000 businesses as members, representing more than 30,000 employees. We have a “Think Chamber First” campaign and know our members support one another. Many small business members join the chamber for that specific reason: to build relationships and thus, get more customers! Together with our colleagues in the East St. Tammany Chamber we invite and encourage all citizens of St. Tammany to sample the best that St. Tammany businesses have to offer. Visit our Chambers’ websites for complete member listings, and don’t take any hardworking small business owner for granted—support and help keep them alive and thriving by spending your dollars at home in St. Tammany. – Lacey Toledano President and CEO, St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce


PAGE 2 | SHOP WEST ST. TAMMANY | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

Welcome to the City of Covington T CANDACE B. WATKINS

he City of Covington officially welcomes you to our unique and fun filled historic downtown. While you are here to explore the many specialty shops and galleries, you will want to plan for a meal to remember at

one of our many locally owned and operated fabulous restaurantS. You may want to schedule a spa visit or salon appointment and treat yourself to any of the many guilty pleasures available for your relaxation and

personal aesthetic. Don’t forget to save a few minutes to visit the Covington Trailhead and Museum located at the comer of New Hampshire and Lockwood., The museum exhibit and film “Our Covington” are not to be

missed. You will find convenient parking along the streets, or in the ox lots inside of each square downtown accessible by our network of alleys. You may park in one spot and walk to every place you will want to go.

I hope you will visit us soon. There is no place on the Northshore like Downtown Covington. Come enjoy your Parish Seat. See you there! - Candace B. Watkins Covington mayor

Business improving in River Chase, Nord du Lac By Debbie Glover St. Tammany News

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he intersection of U. S. Interstate 12 and Louisiana Highway 21 continues to see growth in shopping and dining opportunities, with both north and south areas of I12 currently being developed. On the southern side of I-12, Stirling Properties has begun development on River Chase, a multi-use area behind the original retail development formerly known as Stirling Covington. It will contain restaurants, office space, an expansion of retail and residential housing of apartments, townhouses and condos. It is part of a $60 million comprehensive public/priinfrastructure vate improvement project. The original retail development, formerly known as Stirling Covington, contains JC Penney, Best Buy, Belk, Target, Hollywood Theater

and outparcels with Wendy’s, Chik-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Longhorn Steak House and Region’s Bank. Retailer Kirkland’s moved their store from River Chase to Nord du Lac and national retailer Linens N’ Things closed, leaving two shells available for rental. Project developer Townsend Underhill said that re-leasing of the two spaces is going well although he said he could not release the names of new tenants at this time. An extension of the original retail area will break ground, probably in June, he said. They have signed leases for the yet unbuilt properties, but could not release the information until construction is well underway. The new stores should open in April of 2012. The plans behind the original development and the movie theater include 240 apartments and 250 townhomes and condos. The upscale apartments,

Construction continues on the River Chase development east of the current shopping center on the southeast quadrant of the I-12/Louisiana Highway 21 intersection. (Staff Photo by Suzanne Le Breton)

named Brewster Commons at River Chase, will feature 240 garden-style apartments. “The economy has certainly picked up and we do not begin a project until we have it pre-leased,” said Underhill. “There is a lot more activity on the retail side than a year ago,

although a lot of it is still selective. When the entire project is built out, though, we will have about a million square feet of office space, much more than in retail. The time is right to build more office space. We know this from our commercial office properties.” The next large scale proj-

ect in the development is the office space after the retail extension. A true mixed use project, he said Candlewood Suites, a 96-room extended stay hotel will begin building and there are plans for another hotel in the project. The final phases of the project will be the town-

homes/condos. The development is 253 acres total, and as Underhill phrased it, “River Chase is a full-service mixed development, locally owned and operated.” The development will be SEE BUSINESS, PAGE 7


SHOP WEST ST. TAMMANY | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011 | PAGE 3

Come see Mandeville today! O

n behalf of the City of Mandeville , welcome!! It was recorded as early as l902, that in all of the state of Louisiana, there was not a more beautiful place than Mandeville. Nature has been gracious to our City, and its beauty still abounds. It is a town rich in noble history, environment and resources. Mandeville is known as the oldest inhabited locality in St. Tammany Parish from the view of acquisi-

tion and settlement. Our climate is hot, humid, and sub-tropical with lower temperatures than that of the Southshore . This is due to the salt sea breezes mingling with the pine laden air of our dense forests. Along the lake are valuable tracts of beautiful live oaks; however, throughout our City natural and hardwoods abound, including gum, magnolia, oak, beech, bay, and pine. Mandeville also flourishes as a bird sanctuary. Here it is possible for an avid bird

watcher to enjoy spotting a variety of species, ranging from a ruby throated hummingbird to a soaring bald eagle. Lake Pontchartrain covers a total of approximately 630 square miles, and averages twelve feet in depth. Because it opens to the Gulf, the water is brackish - a mixture of fresh and salt water. This allows for a variety of marine life. The lake also provides a great deal of pleasure for swimmers and boaters of all types of crafts.

The Mandeville Trailhead is our local hub of activity. Thanks to a million dollar grant, the project was constructed to look like an old depot, reminiscent of earlier days. Here you will find a cool oasis for the children to splash about, an amphitheater where concerts abound, a local farmer’s market and a meeting room for lecturers and associations. Our community of friendly and sincere people is steadily growing in pop-

ulation and prosperity. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of shopping areas, from major chains to classic boutiques. We have an excellent school system and award winning restaurants to please every palate. Because of our sincere dedication to maintain the beauty and culture of our City, the quality of life and professional services available have combined to make Mandeville a great place to live. -Donald Villere Mayor of Mandeville

DONALD VILLERE

Old Mandeville businesses help each other Events held to help bring people to the area By Suzanne Le Breton St. Tammany News

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embers of the Old Mandeville Business Association has found out that there is indeed strength in numbers and are using that strategy to help boost business in Old Mandeville. OMBA has put together a brochure listing every business or resident that is a member of the organization. The brochure includes a map, a calendar of events and a history of Mandeville. They are available at all of the businesses, Fontainebleau State Park and the tourist centers. This is a tool that business uses not only to bring people to Old Mandeville but to also offer assist to direct shoppers to other

The Hot 8 Brass Band plays to a packed crowd in front of the Lakehouse during the 225th birthday party of Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville held in Old Mandeville (FilePhoto by Suzanne Le Breton)

Old Mandeville businesses. The businesses also come together to sponsor events designed at increasing foot traffic in Old Mandeville throughout the year.

In July, the group will sponsor a Bastille Day celebration with races and events on the Lakefront. This, OMBA President Denis Bechac was an event held some years back in

Mandeville. “We are going to bring it back,” he said. It will also hosts its annual foliage festival in the fall, and every November the group gives

back by putting on the Empty Bowl Project. Participants are asked to buy a bowl and travel through the shops and restaurants visiting stations set up in Old Mandeville,

where local chefs serve up spoonfuls of soup and chili. The money raised through the sale of the bowls is given to the Samaritan Center. The Bernard de Marigny festival, which started with a birthday celebration last year for the city’s founder, will be held again this coming October. While these events all help to bring people into the business area, OMBA’s big annual event is its Christmas Past celebration, which is always held the same weekend at the city’s Winter on the Water events. Urging residents to do some of their Christmas shopping at local Old Mandeville Businesses, the group provided entertainment and carriage rides during one weekend in December. This is the only event where the group allows outside vendors to come in and set up tents and booths in Old Mandeville. SEE OMBA, PAGE 7


PAGE 4 | SHOP WEST ST. TAMMANY | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

Covington Business Association sets pace By Debbie Glover St. Tammany News

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he St. Tammany Art Association and Covington Business Association (CBA) are leading the way with businesses in Covington as they provide the downtown area with reasons to celebrate. The CBA and the St. Tammany Art Association work closely to coordinate events to bring people to the downtown area. Last week’s Spring for Art

brought thousands of people to Covington, many of whom browsed in galleries and other shops open for the occasion, watched the bartenders’ and chefs’ competitions, and stayed in the area to eat and shop. Area merchants will be gearing up for the fourth annual Bastille Day celebration July 16, which features a waiter’s race, open businesses and galleries, music, fun and food. Last year’s handcrafter to scales Eiffel Tower on Columbia Street

cause a sensation and the “My Eiffel Tower” art competition on lee Lane was also a hit. Mark your calendars now for the next sensation in downtown Covington. The CBA has also adopted the pick 3-50 campaign to help local businesses. Pick three businesses you really like and spend $50 in each a month. Your $50 joins others to create a influx into that business that helps them stay in business.

I-12 and La. 21 offers variety By Debbie Glover St. Tammany News

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ew, innovative shopping abounds in the western part of St. Tammany as it continues to grow centered near the intersection of U. S. Interstate 12 and Louisiana Highway 21 and the La. 21 corridor. South of U. S. Interstate 12 is the Stirling Covington Center while north of the Interstate is Colonial Pinnacle Nord du Lac. Road improvements, including a widening of La. 21 and Brewster Road have opened development on the southwest quadrant of the intersection, with new shops and restaurants open. Now that La. 21 north of I-12 has been widened through Bootlegger Road and the Colonial Pinnacle exit 60 has been opened, developments are flourishing in the area. The 40,000 square-foot Pelican Landing development on the west side of La. 21 contains several restaurants, boutique shops and other activities. The outparcel contains the second Cafe du Monde in the parish, including drive-

thru service. Also new to the area is Jerk’s, a prototype restaurant spearheaded by Cafe du Monde’s owners based on Caribbean cuisine. Winn-Dixie is itself a prototype store with many innovative deli and gourmettype items in a 55square foot venue. “It’s not your grandma’s grocery store,” said Joey Medina, regional vice president for Winn Dixie, at the opening February 2010. It offers a lot of extras – a salad bar, an olive bar, a barbecue station and a meat carving station, even its own peanut butter machine. On outparcels of the property are a new car wash and a Five Guys hamburger restaurant is under construction. Further down La. 21 toward Covington lies the medical corridor, including a new medical office building across the street from St. Tammany Parish Hospital. The new complex will connect to the hospital via a pedestrian skyway, with construction underway. The skyway will allow pedestrians to walk from the hospital to the new building without traffic worries on Tyler Street.

A national trend, the 350 Project said that if just half the employed U. S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned stores, their purchases would generate over $42.6 million in revenue annually. Statistics support the effort. For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 of it returns to the community through the employee payrolls, taxes, homes, cars and so forth. In addition, if you spend your money online, none of it

recycles through the community. Many shops in the downtown area of Covington sell items that qualify for the cultural district no-salestax policy. Aside from original art in galleries, artistic pieces can be found in coop shops that offer a variety of hand-made tax-exempt art items, perfect for gift giving and that special boutique feel for your home. In addition, there are a number of new restaurants including Sorelli’s brick

oven pizza and galleries to explore. Want to learn a new art form? The St. Tammany Art Association offers a number of classes in a variety of media each week and summer camp opportunities for the younger set. Art, antiques and boutiques may rule the city, but there is always something new ad exciting on the way. For the lastest news, visit cwww.cityofcovingtonla.co m or www.covingtonbusinessassociation.org.

Weaving at the market

Now that La. 21 north of I-12 has been widened through Bootlegger Road and the Colonial Pinnacle exit 60 has been opened, developments are flourishing in the area.

Karen Supan knits a headband/earwarmer while manning her booth at the Mandeville Community Market, which is held at the Mandeville Trailhead every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (File Photo by Suzanne Le Breton)


SHOP WEST ST. TAMMANY | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011 | PAGE 5

Mandeville now has economic director By Suzanne Le Breton St. Tammany News

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ovington has one, Slidell has one - and now Mandeville has a Director of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs. With the Old Mandeville Business Association members pushing for it and Alderwoman Trilby Lenfant leading the charge, the City Council has discussed for years to need or lack of need for the position. It was highlighted in last spring’s mayoral election, where Lenfant, who was running for mayor against now Mayor Donald Villere, said she would make it a priority if elected; and Villere said he would first look into an appropriate job description but promised it would near the top of his to do list if he was elected. Last summer, the council approved a job description for an Economic Development and Cultural Affairs Director. When the City Council approved the city’s budget for 2010-2011, it included $50,000 for the new position. In September 2010 Villere hired Alia Casborne to fill that spot. Casborne brought with her many years of experience working marketing and was most recently the promotions manager for a local newspaper, where she coordinated the also Newspapers in Education program. Villere said he had many qualified individuals apply for the job but that Casborne’s qualifications best matched what he was looking for to fill this position. “She just had that little extra quality that I though

“This is a long overdue and historic and very important move for the city.” RICHARD BOYD OMBA spokesman

would work well in Mandeville,” he said. One of Casborne’s first undertakings as Director of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs was to meet with the members of the Old Mandeville Business Association. Richard Boyd, spokesman for OMBA, said OMBA is thrilled to see the administration focusing more effort and money in promoting the cultural aspect of Mandeville as well helping to promote business in the area. “This is a long overdue and historic and very important move for the city,” Boyd said. He said OMBA sees the hiring of Casborne as a “personal victory for OMBA.” Casborne’s office is located in the depot at the Mandeville Trailhead, where she can be located in the hub of the cultural life of Mandeville. She said she hopes to build on the cultural arts that are already in the city while helping to remind people of why they chose to live in or visit Mandeville. “Mandeville is a beautiful city with lots of unique amentities. I want to promote those things,” Casborne said. She hopes to through her effort of better promoting Mandeville and making it more appeal to both businesses as well as visitors, she will remind the residents why they chose to

make their home here and to help them dedvelop a better relationship with the city. “Quality of life is not just about having a beautiful place to live, but also about having the cultural opportunities to enjoy where you live,” she said. Since she was hired, the city has continued to add cultural opportunities for its residents and visitors, including the recent Easter Eggstravagnaza which coincided with the weekly Community Market the Saturday before Easter. The city also hosted a Mandeville Live weekly concert series during the month of Marsh and a Louisiana Philharmonic concert last fall. This concert was accompanied with a Cultural Splash event, where non-profits from the area were been invited to set up tables at the event to share information about what cultural opportunities they offer. Casborne also hopes to work closely with the youth of Mandeville to develop more opportunities for them. She plans to continue working with OMBA as well as the Old Mandeville Historic Association, the Trailhead and the Dew Drop to promote the city’s offerings not only to the people who live in Mandeville but to those who may want to visit the city or relocate their business to the city.


PAGE 6 | SHOP WEST ST. TAMMANY | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

Abita Springs taking advantage of Trailhead By Suzanne Le Breton St. Tammany News

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Hurray for the Riff Raff performs at the Abita Arts and Music Festival put on by the Museum Committee. (File Photo by Suzanne Le Breton)

he Trailhead, playground and museum in Abita Springs has provided the little town a shot in the arm. On any given weekend in the spring or fall, the town’s park, which got a facelift in the last couple years, is bursting at the seems with excitement. In 2008 the community came together to build a playground in the park, last year the town installed a water sprinkler playground and built a trailhead, creating a central hub for community members to gather. Plans are in the works to add walking trails through the park, shade structures by the water play park and an amphitheater at the former site of the pavilion in the back of the park. The town also hosts period family movie nights, using a big inflatable screen to show family-friendly movies as residents spread out blankets and lawn chairs on the park lawn. The historic pavilion was moved out from the back of the park to the center of town and was joined with another historic building, a part of the old Long Branch hotel, to form the Abita Springs Trailhead. The Long Branch building was refurbished and now houses the town’s museum, and a stage was built for outside concerts to be held.

The stage has gotten good use as the Abita Springs Opry has used it to offer concerts on selected Sunday afternoons in the fall and spring. There are often concerts in conjunction with activities scheduled by the town organizations like the Friends of the Park, which sponsors the Earth Day Festival and the Abita Springs Gospel Music Jubilee. For the past two years, the Museum Committee has sponsored an Arts and Music Festival in the spring, bringing New Orleans musicians and local artist and artisans to the Trailhead for a free concert. The Abita Trailhead Pickers meet every Sunday afternoon for jam sessions at the Trailhead, and the museum committee holds a market every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on the first Saturday of every month. The town also plays host to the All Town Garage Sale in the spring and the Water Festival in the fall. And as always the Opry holds three concerts at the Town Hall in the fall and again each spring. The museum offers an “The Abita exhibit, Experience,” detailing the history of the small town. The Abita Springs Trailhead Museum is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from Noon -5pm, and at other times by

appointment (for school groups, clubs, etc). If you are interested in learning more about the museum, or becoming a tour guide (training provided), please contact Lynnette Soules at 893-2418 or at lynnabita@hotmail.com In addition to hosting cultural and community events, the downtown historic district has been included among a list of Cultural Districts by the state. Artwork purchased in the district is sales-tax exempt and preservationists and those wanting the restore historic buildings also get a tax break on buildings 50 years old or older. The cultural districts were designed to become a catalyst in communities for tourism and to stimulate the economy. Though the tax-free art itself may not add to tax revenue, the influx of more tourists and visitors means more customers at local restaurants and other shops, which stimulates the local economy, and does add to the parish’s tax revenue. Town leaders hope this and the events it continues to host at the Trailhead will not only help the locals by giving them a tax break and providing them with a place to gather, but will also bring more visitors to the town, which in its heyday was a thriving tourist destination.

Trailhead Museum, activities abundant in City of Covington By Debbie Glover St. Tammany News

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he Covington Trailhead, home of the David C. and Dorothy L. Blossman Museum and Visitor Center, has become the gathering place and hub of entertainment for downtown Covington. Aside from the entertaining and educational film in the museum, the the Rockin’ the Rails concerts are only one activity featured there. The Easter egg roll contest, open mike nights and other activities have provided entertainment for young and old. The Wednesday concerts ran from 5-7:30 p.m. and are free. In May, such notable artists as The Blackened Blues Band (May 4), Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders (May 11), Johnny Sasone’s NOLA Music Party (May 18) and Kermit Ruffins (May 25) a low-key provide Covington local music fest on Wednesdays. The concerts are under-

writtened by Champagne Beverage and the St. Parish Tammany Department of Cultural and Governmental Affairs. In addition to the music, food and drink are sold at the event with some of the proceeds going to charities in the city. So bring you lawn chairs and get mellow on Wednesdays in May. Events scheduled regularly throughout the summer include the Second Saturday Stroll art openings, Final Friday Block Party and Sunset at the Landing free concerts the third Friday of the month. In addition, there is a Farmer’s Market held Wednesdays at the Trailhead and Saturday mornings on the old city hall lawn. Home to the St. Tammany Parish Hospital, the St. Tammany Parish C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex and the St. Tammany Justice Center, Covington also has a multitude of parks for relaxation

and fun. Bogue Falaya Park has become a venue for festivals and concerts, including the LPO and Chef Soiree, as well as providing a playground and picnic area for families. The recently renovated Hubie Gallagher Park on 15th Street is home of the Fifteenth Street Fliers, a running group that meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. and uses the jogging path to keep fit. The park also now has toddler and older child play areas for family enjoyment. The Rev. Atkins Park on North Tyler Street and West 28th Avenue offers recreation opportunities, includes the city’s swimming pool. For $1 per swimmer, adults and children can cool off this summer with lifeguards on duty. In addition to the Trailhead, Covington Mayor Candace Watkins says the city is moving forward. Watkins said that by SEE COVINGTON, PAGE 7


SHOP WEST ST. TAMMANY | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011 | PAGE 7

The Dragon Boat race attracts teams from all over the United States for the 22-man boats competition. Although still new to the area, they are exciting to watch, especially under the cool oak trees in Madisonville. (File Photo by Debbie Glover)

City by the river has a lot to offer By Debbie Glover St. Tammany News

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new library is underway in Madisonville, best known for its position at the convergence of the Tchefuncte River into Lake Pontchartrain. The small hamlet is home to the Wooden Boat Festival in October and the Tchefuncte Boat Parade during Mardi Gras. Popular attractions in town include

the lighthouse and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum as well as excellent boating, fishing and crabbing opportunities. The area is the home of the second annual Dragon Boat races in the area, set for this weekend, April 2930, an old sports but new to the Gulf South. Madisonville, the most recent cultural district in the parish, has added art markets once a month for

area artists to showcase their work. The third Saturday of the month, except for July and August when the weather is too hot, artists and visitors gather under the oak trees bordering the river. Nearby restaurants provide a place to lunch during the all-day market. Madisonville’s cultural arts district is identical to the township borders. The tax-exempt status

BUSINESS: Improvement seen » FROM PAGE 2

similar to the company’s Northpark complex on U. S. Highway 190, only instead of single family residential, it will have multi-family residential. On the northern side, the Colonial Pinnacle Nord du Lac shopping center has opened retail space and three restaurants, Texas Road House already opened and Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel to open soon. The Kohl’s store, one of the original anchors of

the million square foot development, is about 87,000 square feet, or about a third of the square footage of the first phase that contains Hobby Lobby, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Kirkland’s and some smaller retailers. Originally scheduled to open Oct. 1, 2009, Nord du Lac has been embroiled in controversy from its beginning. The national economy played a part in the slowdown of the construction, particularly when some of the tenants declared bank-

ruptcy nationally and others were forced to put all expansion plans on hold. Originally, anchors of the center were lifestyle announced as Dillard’s, Kohl’s, Barnes and Noble and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Kohl’s has opened, but an Academy Sports and Outdoors replaced Dick’s Sporting Goods and there is still no sign of Dillard’s or Barnes and Noble, who has a store in Mandeville. There have also been no announcements of new tenants or a second phase.

Sailboats cruise on Lake Pontchartrain near Mandeville. (File Photo)

OMBA: Businesses help each other » FROM PAGE 3

Local artists, craftspeople and a variety of food vendors sell their wares, and visitors often join in the spirit by dressing Victorian style while strolling the “pedestrian mall,” enjoying the entertainment while shopping at some of the local businesses. Santa is always on hand as well as a wide range of musical entertainment performing seasonal favorites. Bechac since Old Mandeville is located off

the beaten path, events like these are crucial to bring shoppers to the area. “The best thing about this is we can all collaborate together as businesses to bring people to Old Mandeville,” he said. Many of the events center around the area’s history, and Bechac compares shopping in Old Mandeville to “stepping back in time.” The goal of many of the events is to “bring people back to an area of Mandeville that many have forgotten,” he said.

COVINGTON: Lots to do around town » FROM PAGE 6

shopping in the city, residents can recycle their money and give the tax dollars back to the community. Covington is also the home to the new IP (Intellectual Property) North, a place for creative and digital companies and entrepreneurs to create a community and call home, benefiting from proximity of space, specialized services and even free media pro-

motions. Turbosquid is already in the facility and others are expected to relocate soon. Greater New Orleans, Inc. is spearheading the initiative and said the IP North Building is intended to be a hub for innovation in creative technology, providing an opportunity for people to “bounce ideas off one another.” It will be an idea village for entrepreneurial tech support, including non-profits.

At various events sponsored by the organization or just held in Old Mandeville, the organization usually holds contests and gives out prizes. Those prizes are usually in the form of Mande Money. Mande Money can be used at any OMBA member business. The business owner then turns the Mande Money back into the organization’s treasurer, who redeems it for real cash.

only applies to those selling an original piece of art, and this is monitored this carefully. The town is also fortunate to have the full backing of Mayor (Peter) Gitz. There are plans to display art in the new library when it’s finished as well as the art displayed in Friends Restaurant and Waterstreet Bistro. The ambiance of the town attracts many visitors,

especially to the riverfront and the lighthouse. Friends has been a popular spot for boaters for many years. The dock provides a place for the boaters to “park” on the river and then go inside for cool refreshments, lunch or dinner. In fact, there are many “parking” spots for boaters along the riverfront. The scenic riverfront is the

backdrop for most activity in the town, including the Town Hall. Covington Street provides retail opportunities such as the newly opened and renovated 410 Center and antique shops, as well as the Green Grocer. For a relaxing day under the oaks, Madisonville provides several opportunities for dining, shopping and recreation.


PAGE 8 | SHOP WEST ST. TAMMANY | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011


Shop West St. Tammany 2011