Mar 142016
 
A view from the ballfield of the new concessions building planned for Cuccia-Byrnes plaground. (via City of New Orleans)

A view from the ballfield of the new concessions building planned for Cuccia-Byrnes plaground. (via City of New Orleans)

The existing concessions stand at Cuccia Byrnes (via City of New Orleans)

The existing concessions stand at Cuccia Byrnes (via City of New Orleans)

The city of New Orleans approved plans Monday morning for a new concessions building to replace the aging structure at the Cuccia-Byrnes playground, where the Carrollton Boosters operate baseball fields they recently described as vital to their programming.

The new two-story building on Forshey Street — just off South Carrollton Avenue — will include a concessions area, restrooms and upstairs storage space, according to plans filed with the city.

The project will include, according to the plans:

  • Removal of the existing structure,
  • Construction of the new building,
  • Demolition of interior fencing “to open the green space up as a large multi-use playing field to be configured for different types of sporting events,” and
  • Replacement of some of the high mast lighting.

The city had presented the plan to neighbors at a Jan. 14 meeting at the Hollygrove Multipurpose Center, according to records included in the project application. Paul Dimitrios of RCL Architecture explained that the entrance to the new building will be situated on the Forshey Street property line, closer than city regulations would normally permit, to allow the maximum possible space for the ballfields.

“We talked about leaving as much room available as possible on the park side of the building to allow for the regulation size fields needed for soccer and baseball,” Dimitrios wrote afterward. “Everyone seemed to be okay with the solution.”

Residents also had questions about access to the facility, but no one from NORDC was on hand to answer those questions, Dimitrios wrote.

The Board of Zoning Adjustments approved the setback request unanimously. The project received no discussion by the board or city officials presenting it as the waiver was approved.

The condition of the facilities at Cuccia Byrnes drew criticism from City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell at last month’s committee hearing about the Carrollton Boosters proposed soccer complex on The Fly.

“If you go to Cuccia right now and you walk around it, it is in deplorable condition,” Cantrell said. “It needs to be a priority.

Carrollton Boosters leaders replied that they had also put $45,000 into repairs at Cuccia Byrnes, and that they only paused at the request of the city’s Capital Projects team as the current upgrades were planned.

“It’s vital to us. We need it. We want it to look better,” said David Sumrall. “… We will then do whatever else we need to do to keep that facility up and make it as functional and usable as possible.”

A rendering of the proposed new concessions building at Cuccia Byrnes playground. (via City of New Orleans)

A rendering of the Forshey Street view of the proposed new concessions building at Cuccia Byrnes playground. (via City of New Orleans)

The floor plan for the first floor of the new Cuccia-Byrnes concessions stand. The second floor will be used for attic space and storage, plans show. (via City of New Orleans)

The floor plan for the first floor of the new Cuccia-Byrnes concessions stand. The second floor will be used for attic space and storage, plans show. (via City of New Orleans)

Cuccia-Byrnes site plan (via City of New Orleans)

Cuccia-Byrnes site plan (via City of New Orleans)

  • frustrated

    Why is Carrollton Boosters getting such preferential treatment? There are other areas in the city more needed. Oh, I know why: Carrollton has uptown clout. The other, poorer areas don’t.

    Thank God for LaToya Cantrell for standing up to the greedy, narrow-focus Carrollton Boosters.

    • Linda Kocher

      Isn’t this park in what would be considered a lower income, and maybe under-served, part of town? Wouldn’t neighborhood groups/teams be able to use it? I’m just asking….

      • frustrated

        You are right. I appreciate your comment and, in particular, its wording. It was very thoughtful. But. There are areas in the Lower Nine in dire need. And while this is a poor area of the city, Carrollton Boosters is definitely not reflective of the city’s racial and economic mix.

        • Deux amours

          You need to take your complaints to the city and to NORD. Do you expect Carrollton Boosters to function as the recreational department for the entire city?

    • Deux amours

      I think The Carrollton Booster group is only doing what the city ought to do but has failed to do. It has gotten no preferential treatment from the city.

  • Peas Knnes

    How is Carrollton getting special treatment? They would much rather the city spend the money on the fields at Cucci Burns rather than spend $800k on a concession stand. This is not a Corrolton Boosters project, this is a city project.

    “If you go to Cuccia right now and you walk around it, it is in deplorable condition,” Cantrell said. “It needs to be a priority.

    That is not Carrolton Boosters fault, thats the city’s fault.

  • Pam

    I don’t understand the legalities. Why is NORDC building it? Who is paying for it? Carrollton Boosters owns the land or not? Who gets to use it and who decides the schedule?

    It’s hard to trust Carrollton Boosters considering their land grab at the Audubon Fly.

    • Peas Knnes

      The City of New Orleans owns Cuccia Burns, its a NORDC Park…Carrollton operates the concession stand and rents the fields for their rec programs. The City is paying for the concession stand. If you dont want your tax dollars being spent on the park then take it up with the City….by the way, go ride to the park and look how deplorable it is…..its the city fault that it looks like a blighted prpoerty

      • Penguin

        While that may be, CB is spending millions on cordoning off space at the Fly. Do they get preferential treatment? Yeah, sorry, but they do.