Sep 132018

A rendering of the McDonald’s proposed for 3321 St. Charles Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

City planners are “skeptical” about McDonald’s plan to demolish their two-story restaurant on St. Charles Avenue and replace it with a new building designed to be more manageable for staff, but will continue talks with the corporation’s architects and attorneys for another month before making a recommendation, they said this week. Continue reading »

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Sep 112018

A rendering of the building at 4528 Freret Street after its proposed redevelopment into a grocery store with condos above the parking lot. Architect Nick Marshall noted that the building was a Canal Villere grocery store in the 1970s and 80s. (image courtesy of Chase Marshall architects)

The former Publiq House building on Freret Street should be allowed to be converted into a grocery store, with a new 24-unit condo building constructed over the adjacent parking lot, the City Planning Commission voted Tuesday afternoon.

The commission voted 5-2 to recommend that the City Council allow the entire project at 4528 Freret as proposed by Neighborhood Housing Services, the building owner, and Green Coast Enterprises, the developer. No tenant has been selected for the grocery yet, because the developers did not want to start the leasing process before they were sure the project would be allowed, said Will Bradshaw of the Green Coast Enterprises.

“We think there’s an interesting opportunity to create an urban grocery store,” Bradshaw said.

The commission’s vote essentially allows six more condo units than the planning staff had recommended, because it allows the rezoning of the back portion of the parking lot facing LaSalle Street to commercial. The planning staff — and the two commissioners who voted against it — said allowing the condo unit to extend through the lot to LaSalle Street represented too much commercial incursion into the neighborhood.

“I can’t support something that would intrude on the neighborhood, as this would,” said Commissioner Kelly Brown, who had proposed holding the developers to the staff recommendation of an 18-unit condo building. “I’m not sure why we would consider zoning LaSalle in the middle of that block commercial.”

The other commissioners, however, said they felt the project was worthy, praising the creating of a grocery, the seven affordable housing units out of the 24 proposed, and Green Coast’s plan to make the building have “net zero” energy consumption, generating as much solar power on the roof as the building consumes.

The meeting has just concluded. To read our live coverage, see below:

Live Blog City Planning Commission – Sept. 11, 2018

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Aug 312018

Part of a promotional flier for the fundraiser for the park. (via Felicity Redevelopment)

By Nicholas Riemann
Special to Uptown Messenger

On Feb. 14, 1957, a crucial moment of American history was made in Central City, when Martin Luther King Jr. came to the New Zion Baptist Church on Third Street to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, what would become one of the country’s foremost African-American civil-rights organizations.

The only marker commending the group’s founding, though? A plaque on the edge of the church’s property. But there’s a dream to change that — one that’s now starting to become a reality. Continue reading »

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Aug 272018

The new NOPD Second District station at 3411 Broadway Street, with the new Gert Town natatorium behind it. (Robert Morris,

The new headquarters of the New Orleans Police Department’s Uptown-based Second District in Gert Town — as well as the new indoor pool on the same lot — are nearly complete after more than a year of construction, but no opening date has been announced.

The Gert Town Natatorium, photographed in early August. (Robert Morris,

Continue reading »

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Aug 242018

Leading short-term rental advocates held a community discussion Thursday night on ideas for changes to the laws governing the controversial topic in New Orleans, tapping into the deep well of frustration with the city’s rental market from nearly all sides. Continue reading »

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Aug 202018

The view over the counter and out the front window at Cherry Coffee’s second location at 1581 Magazine Street. (via Cherry Coffee on Facebook)

Cherry Coffee, the cafe that first launched in a former firehouse near Wisner Park, has won an enthusiastic thumbs-up from the City Planning Commission to convert its second location in the Lower Garden District into a restaurant. Continue reading »

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Aug 152018

The strip mall in the 4600 block of Magazine Street. (image via city of New Orleans)

The Subway sandwich shop that became the latest flashpoint in the conversation about chain restaurants on Magazine Street has withdrawn its application to open in a partially vacant strip mall there, New Orleans city officials said. Continue reading »

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Aug 152018

The outside travel and parking lanes on both sides of St. Charles Avenue will be closed for the rest of August and much of September for drainage work and road reconstruction, city officials said. Continue reading »

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Aug 102018

The building at Louisiana Avenue, photographed in December 2017. (Robert Morris,

After months of negotiations over a controversial proposal for a small ice-cream parlor on Louisiana Avenue and even a tentative vote in its favor, the New Orleans City Council voted unanimously Thursday against allowing the business — yet again demonstrating the council’s growing intolerance of short-term rentals deemed problematic by neighbors. Continue reading »

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Aug 092018

The former Jim Russell’s Rare Records building at 1831 Magazine is being renovated into a home for the new Union Ramen restaurant. (photo via City Planning Commission)


The plan to create a new restaurant called Union Ramen in the Lower Garden District building was formerly the home of Jim Russell Rare Records has received initial approval from the City Planning Commission, and now heads to the City Council for a final decision. Continue reading »

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Aug 022018

A billboard for Tiger Paw daiquiri shop in Baton Rouge. (via Facebook)

Five years ago, a daiquiri shop on St. Charles Avenue in the Lower Garden District drew such consistently out-of-control crowds that the city of New Orleans ultimately revoked their alcohol license.

Now, the owners of a Baton Rouge daiquiri shop want to open nearby and promise better management, but nearby residents and business owners voiced strong opposition to the idea, saying no promises or good intentions will keep it from becoming more of the same.

The building at 1610 St. Charles Avenue, where Tiger Paw Daiquiris and Grill plans to move in. (Robert Morris,

Continue reading »

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Jul 262018
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

I used to think that purchasing a “whole house” generator or putting a dozen or more solar panels on my roof was an unnecessary expense. Now I am reconsidering those options after surviving a recent brownout on one of those 100 degree days – and realizing the electricity is going out in New Orleans neighborhoods far too often. Continue reading »

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