Jan 072013
 

820 General Pershing Street

A plan to demolish a home on General Pershing Street to make way for a parking lot for an as-yet-undisclosed business planned for Magazine Street will appear before another city panel Tuesday, after a different aspect of the request was rejected last month.

Part of the Top Drawer building on Magazine near Napoleon is slated for redevelopment, but the developer wants to use the property at 820 General Pershing Street for a few additional parking spaces, architect Anna Bertucci Ghelase told the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee (which governs demolition requests) in early December. She said that the home is unoccupied and damaged from a fire years ago, and that more parking will make attracting a tenant to the Magazine Street project easier.

The NCDC rejected the demolition, although the developer is appealing that decision to the full City Council. Meanwhile, putting a parking lot on the residential square would also require a conditional-use permit from the city, and the City Planning Commission is scheduled to hear that item at its 1:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday.

If the report on the project from city staffers is any guide, the case for the parking lot is even tougher this month. The city planning staff recommends the commissioners deny the request for many of the same reasons that neighbors argue: the home could be renovated, it removes a buffer between busy Magazine Street and the quiet neighborhood behind it, the parking is not technically needed, and more parking there conflicts with the Master Plan’s vision for the neighborhood.

“The proposed demolition and resultant parking lot use would be a damaging loss of historic resources and a destructive precedent to set as a means of addressing the demand for parking to serve the commercial uses along Magazine Street,” the planners write in the report.

The meeting will be held in the Planning Commission conference room on the ninth floor of 1340 Poydras Street. Like the NCDC, the conclusion reached by the City Planning Commission on Tuesday will not be final, as the City Council makes the final determination on each.

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  • Uptowner

    I live nearby and I’d prefer for this to stay put. It could make for a killer rental property if the owner would throw a little cash at it instead of letting it deteriorate while still paying taxes, etc. I don’t understand some people… If they’re in a pinch, sell the damn thing. If priced right, this one’s sold in a week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/donna.m.williams.14 Donna Williams

    I live nearby as well and I think a parking lot is a great idea. I’m tired of people who frequent businesses on magazine street parking in front of my home preventing me from parking in front of my own house. It’s happens all the time day and night.

  • Katherine Johnston

    Ms. Williams, I doubt you would actually want a parking lot (literally) in your backyard as this would action would mean to me and my four neighbors who have lived on this block for years and in some cases decades. The landlord of the property is a slumlord who lives in Slidell. This is demolition by neglect pure and simple and should not be rewarded. There are numerous parking lots already on this block and across the street. The St. Henry’s/Ecole Bilingue parking lot is one house over and the restaurant developer (who doesn’t even live Uptown) could easily approach them for use at night when both the church and the school are closed. Based on what goes on in the parking lot behind Nirvana (as I said, there are already two on the same block), this would simply be another place for people to loiter at night. I empathize with your parking complaints; I live on Napoleon and have to deal with the barflies from Ms. Mae’s as well as the well-heeled patrons who block my driveway “for just a sec” as they run into Casamento’s. The fact is, street parking is a fact of life Uptown as it is in most viable urban centers. This is one of the very things that makes our area unique and helps keep our property values higher than in the rest of the city. Anyone who doubts what happens when you pave paradise and put up a parking lot should just take a drive out to Metairie.

    • Uptowner

      Do you know the owner? Apparently he used his homestead exemption on the property in 2011 (meaning it was his primary residence). Very odd considering its condition. I’m curious if he thinks he will get a higher sale value flipping this for parking use as opposed to flipping to someone who will renovate the house.

  • http://twitter.com/lyleluquette lyle luquette

    You know you are in uptown New Orleans when some wants to keep a rundown building up. This building has no historical significance, and for the people that state this is building is a “goldmine” for real estate, then buy it and renovate the property. If it was a “goldmine,” Vincent Marcello or John Georges would have already picked it up. Im not saying it should be a parking lot, but this building has to go.

    • Uptowner

      If it was for sale, I’d make an offer if I felt it was priced right. This could be a moneymaker so long as the damage and deferred maintenance aren’t too overbearing with regard to your investment cost vs ROI. It’s not openly marketed so finding the owner isn’t exactly easy to do. I own rental property in this neighborhood and know the market well…. The big dogs you speak of don’t dabble in small income producing properties, the working class invest in them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bordelonsharon Sharon We Dat Bordelon

    The owner needs to fix the property and rent or sell, NO PARKING LOT!!!