Jan 172012

Top: 7008 and 7016 Zimple, both owned by Tulane, were cleared for demolition. Bottom: A request to demolish 5514 and 5518 Tchouptioulas was denied Tuesday. (all photos via Preservation Resource Center, blog.prcno.org)

A pair of homes next to a carwash on Tchoupitoulas face a steeper path to commercial redevelopment after a request for their demolition was denied Tuesday.

With little to no opposition, however, the city did approve demolitions of two homes owned by Tulane University to make room for an expansion of the library, as well as part of the Booker T. Washington school on South Rampart and a caretaker’s cottage at the former LaSalle school being redeveloped near Audubon Park. Continue reading »

Oct 142011

One of the buildings on the old DePaul campus, viewed from outside the fence along Henry Clay Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A proposed change in the zoning of the DePaul medical campus owned by Children’s Hospital could greatly expand the possibilities for commercial development in the middle of an Audubon Park neighborhood, drawing the attention and concern of neighbors and their City Councilwoman. Continue reading »

Aug 232011

Whole Foods, the Monkey Hill property and the Poydras Home addition.

After hearing from a procession of worried neighbors, the City Planning Commission voted to reject all but the least controversial of Whole Foods’ requested operational changes, possibly reducing months of efforts by the Magazine Street grocery into an extra hour of business on Sunday and the ability to put plants in front of the store.

A major addition to the nearby Poydras Home retirement community was approved in accordance with the architects’ and neighbors wishes, but a decision was deferred on the expansion of the Monkey Hill bar into Johnny V’s restaurant amid concerns about parking and the nature of the expansion itself. Continue reading »

Jul 122011

This design, labeled "Option 3," represents the direction that developers said they are heading for the new Walgreens on Magazine.

Developers of a new Walgreens proposed for the old American Legion Hall on Magazine Street presented three renovation designs concepts to a crowd of Uptown residents Tuesday evening, saying that they are moving away from the more modern storefront design that initially bothered some neighbors. Continue reading »

Jun 202011

Current City Council district lines in Uptown New Orleans.

Most of Uptown New Orleans appears likely to avoid a political tug-of-war over redrawing City Council boundaries, though one proposal would change the representation for a handful of neighborhoods along Jefferson Avenue.

Of the five proposed redistricting plans unveiled this weekend, four show no changes to representation Uptown whatsoever, and one slides six voting precincts along Jefferson Avenue from Councilwoman Susan Guidry’s District A into Councilwoman Stacy Head’s District B. Continue reading »

Jun 152011

The former NOCCA building, photographed in September 2010. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

With tentative neighborhood support after a meeting with the new owner of the former NOCCA school building, high-end condos are emerging as a likely next life of the century-old Uptown New Orleans landmark.

Developer Jim MacPhaille met June 8 with the zoning committee of the Upper Hurstville Neighborhood Association to discuss options for the old LaSalle School on Perrier, and left with their preliminary agreement with a plan to convert it into a development of about 15 to 18 high-end condos with a few standalone homes on the side of the property. The condos would likely sell for $400 per square foot, he said, and the site would likely have about 48 parking spaces on it. Continue reading »

Jun 012011

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas responds to concerns raised by Uptown neighborhood associations over coming changes to the city's paid detail system. (via WWL-TV)

Leaders of three neighborhoods representing thousands of Uptown New Orleans homes worry that upcoming changes intended to reduce corruption in police overtime work will weaken the protection they receive from off-duty officers, and are requesting a meeting with NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas to discuss the reforms. Continue reading »

Apr 282011

Developer Jim MacPhaille stands next to his wife Catherine MacPhaille and places the winning bid on the former NOCCA school building on Perrier Street in Uptown New Orleans at the Orleans Parish School Board surplus property auction Thursday morning. The former NOCCA school building sold at auction for $2.45 million. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The former NOCCA building, photographed in September 2010. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The former NOCCA school building on Perrier Street in Uptown New Orleans sold at auction Thursday for $2.45 million to a couple who said they bought the century-old building in order to save it.

“It’s one of the best pieces of real estate in Uptown,” said developer Jim MacPhaille, the winning bidder. Continue reading »

Apr 072011

The former site of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts on Perrier Street in September. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The former NOCCA school building on Perrier Street is scheduled to return to the auction block at the end of the month, with a new sale price set low enough to encourage its purchase by developers and demolition for new Uptown homes. Continue reading »

Apr 042011

Capt. James Baldassaro of New Orleans Private Patrol checks a house during rounds in the Upper Hurstville neighborhood in this Sept. 12, 2010, file photo. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

An officer with New Orleans Private Patrol chased a coyote through the stately streets surrounding Audubon Park last weekend, prompting a warning to area residents to watch their pets. Continue reading »

Mar 162011

With developers insisting that Walgreens is the most likely tenant of an multi-million dollar proposed renovation of the old American Legion buildling on Magazine Street, many of the nearly 200 people at a Wednesday-night town hall on the project focused their questions on the planned design of its modern, glass-wall facade and large rear parking lot and drive-through. Continue reading »

Mar 012011

The American Legion building on Magazine Street. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Zoning on Magazine Street may not be as accommodating to a Walgreens pharmacy as was originally assumed, members of the adjacent neighborhood association said Tuesday evening as they began preliminary discussions of the proposed development.

The old American Legion in the 5500 block of Magazine is zoned B-2, which allows for a variety of general retail uses, said Peggy Adams, an attorney on the board of the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association. Although B-2 does not specifically prohibit drug stores, pharmacies with drive-through lanes are specifically mentioned in a separate section of the city zoning code, C-1A. And in some cases, Adams said, the fact that one type of development is specifically mentioned in a certain zoning has been used to preclude it in other zonings. Continue reading »

Feb 202011

Interior of American Legion hall on Magazine Street (via Upper Hurstville Neighborhood Association)

The purchase and renovation of the old American Legion building on Magazine Street will cost nearly $6 million, requiring a tenant that can pay approximately $600,000 per year for the lease, the developer eying the property for a possible Walgreens told neighborhood leaders on Friday.

Stirling Properties plans to replace the brick facade with a glass wall, preserve some of the American Legion features inside the building and add a drive-through to the 40-space parking lot in the rear. Although the commercial zoning would allow the store to stay open 24 hours and sell alcohol, current plans are to do neither, closing instead at 10 p.m., the representatives of three neighborhoods surrounding the site wrote in a letter to members Sunday evening.

The neighborhood leaders recommended the developer call a meeting with the public to discuss the project, the letter says, but no date has been announced.

Read the full letter below: Continue reading »

Jan 242011

A controversial Pilates studio will lower its Magazine Street facade and provide a handful of additional parking spaces in a nearby lot during peak hours, but those concessions were voluntary and all that upset neighbors can expect, city officials told a crowd of more than 100 people Monday evening. Continue reading »

Jan 112011

An Uptown Pilates studio has been allowed to resume construction on its controversial new Magazine Street building even as it continues negotiating with the city over its final design and parking requirements.

A packed meeting of the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association attended by city officials and representatives of Romney Pilates led residents upset about the studio’s impact on the neighborhood to conclude that there is little they can do other than strive for better notification about similar projects in the future. Continue reading »

Dec 222010

A new studio for Romney Pilates is under construction on Magazine Street. (Photo by Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

A meeting of Magazine Street-area neighbors concerned about the construction of a new Pilates studio has been postponed temporarily, an organizer said Wednesday morning.

Continue reading »

Nov 132010

The fate of the former site of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts remains uncertain after Lusher Charter School has decided not to purchase it.. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Renovating the old New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts school into a third campus has proven too expensive an idea for Lusher Charter School amid the present uncertainty about public school funding, so school officials are restarting their search for a new Uptown location. Continue reading »

Nov 012010

A home at the corner of Magazine and Henry Clay shows support for the neighborhood's security patrols, up for renewal on Tuesday's ballot.

If voters in Upper Hurstville choose to renew the neighborhood’s private security patrols Tuesday, they’ll see a reduced fee on their property-tax bills next year.

The fee had been $485 per parcel, but the security district’s board voted last week to reduce that amount to $425, said district chair Karen Duncan. The legislation enabling the 24-hour patrols expires after this year, however, so Upper Hurstville residents must first renew the district at the ballot Tuesday. Continue reading »

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Sep 202010

The fate of the former site of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts remains a concern for Upper Hurstville residents.

The possibility of Lusher Charter School expanding into the shuttered former Uptown site of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts brings mixed feelings in the surrounding neighborhood, and the balance of opinion may rest on whether local children could gain attendance privileges to the popular school. Continue reading »

Sep 162010

If an eleventh-hour do-over makes it through state government by the end of this week, votes cast regarding the Upper Hurstville Security District in the Oct. 2 election will not be counted and the ballot question will be moved to Nov. 2 in slightly altered form.

The security district — which uses a $485-per-parcel fee to provide around-the-clock security patrols from Magazine to Prytania, between Nashville Avenue and Audubon Park — was created by neighborhood voters in 2003 for a seven-year term, and thus needed renewal this year.

Late last week, however, district chair Karen Duncan discovered that the ballot question as worded would effectively raise the fee to $650 — rather than merely giving the district board that option if the needed arose — and moving the election date emerged as the only solution. Continue reading »