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.