Large mixed-use real estate project in progress near New Orleans

Project involves new homes, retail stores and offices

"The traffic was about to drive my wife into a padded cell," said the 60-year-old real estate expert.

Though St. Tammany Parish plans to widen Highway 21 this year, Miestovich questions whether the road will be able to support commercial development on the scale of Highway 190.

"Highway 21 will never be a 190 because it crosses the river. It will never be able to grow or accommodate traffic the same way," he said.

The question is, however, will it have to?

The price of homes is already dropping in St. Tammany and those unsold are sitting on the market for increasingly longer periods. For-sale signs litter driveways in communities where in a stronger economy, buyers would line up for the chance to tour a house on the market.

What if no one buys the homes planned for the area?

"Then they will sit," Miestovich said. "If you look around, you'll see they will be in good company. "