Sidney Torres IV: Entrepreneur and real estate developer. Crime fighter. Next mayor of New Orleans?
The former French Quarter garbage mogul recently spoke to the Gambit about his plans to convert the former Carmelite Monastery into a “resort-like” assisted living facility, two new TV series based on his crime-reporting app, and his possible run for mayor.
Torres, who purchased the former monastery earlier this year for an undisclosed amount, told the weekly newspaper that he didn’t have a specific idea for the property when he bid on it, calling it a “blank slate.”
Though it could be a while before the facility opens – he expects another year before permits and plans are approved, he said – he wants it to feel “like a five-star hotel.”
“I want to do something where you don't have to sell it to your mother, father, grandmother, uncle. They want to come here," Torres told the newspaper.
Torres, who became well-known for his efforts to clean up the French Quarter after Hurricane Katrina, remained in the public eye with the launch of his French Quarter Task Force in 2015. Though he no longer oversees the task force, Torres announced last week that he spent $100,000 to buy new Smart cars and revamp an off-duty police patrol app.
The app has inspired two new television series: a drama called “APB,” tentatively set to premiere on Fox in 2017, and a reality series, the Gambit reported.
Still, Torres said, “(w)e still have a long way to go,” including possibly bringing a similar community patrol to the rest of the city.
“People say, 'Well, you're only worried about the French Quarter.' That's not true," Torres said "… The French Quarter is the heart. It's the money maker and the face and the financial side of the city and some of the state. That's why it that has to be under control.”
As for a possible mayoral run, Torres, who has publicly blasted Mayor Mitch Landrieu, told the Gambit that he hasn’t ruled it out.
"I'm serious about keeping the door open," Torres said. "I'm not going to rule that out right now. My hope is that someone steps up that can do the job, from the approach of hands-on, in the field. This city, currently, right now, has to be run from in the field, not behind the desk.”