Developers plan to turn Our Lady of Lourdes into a reception hall

Plans are in the works to turn the long-dormant Our Lady of Lourdes church on Napoleon Avenue into a reception hall and event venue. The project is in the early stages of development — so early that the developer named in a letter informing neighbors about the plans, Arts Design Hospitality + Development, is not registered with the state. “The LLC has not been formulated yet,” said Zach Smith, a land-use consultant working with the developers. “But eventually we have two individuals who will comprise that group.”

David Fusilier, a contractor with Perle Construction, and Doug Cloninger, director of Amicus Investment Holdings, plan to purchase and renovate the century-old building, listed at $1.25 million. The church anchors the uptown-lake corner of the square block bounded by Napoleon, La Salle, Jena and Freret.

New York investors buy the Whole Foods building on Magazine

A New York investment group has purchased Arabella Station, the home of Whole Foods Market on Magazine Street, for $31.4 million, property records show. Whole Foods has a long-term lease on the former bus barn and is expected to remain. The property that takes up the entire block at 5600 Magazine St. was purchased by DK WFNO, a limited liability company operated by Debra Kalimian. Kalimian runs D&R Holding and A&R Kalimian Realty out of offices in Manhattan, records show.

Fine Arts Theater stages a comeback on Baronne Street corridor

A revival is taking place at a century-old movie house in the Milan neighborhood. 
When it began life in 1917, the Fine Arts Theater at Constantinople and Baronne streets anchored a small but thriving neighborhood business corridor. 
That was still true in 1946, when Dave Martin opened Martin Wine Cellar a block away. Nearby residents were within walking distance of nearly everything a family might need. There was a pharmacy, barber shop, laundry, tailor, meat market, grocery store and bakery — plus the neighborhood movie theater. Now the Fine Arts Theater building, a city landmark fresh off of a nearly $2 million redevelopment, holds the promise of revitalizing the small business district. 
Zee’s Pizzeria has moved into the Fine Arts building’s row of commercial spaces on Baronne. Beth Biundo Sweets, a bakery, is across the street, and Lucy Boone Ice Cream plans to open a shop next to Zee’s in the Fine Arts. And, of course, Martin Wine & Spirits continues to offer a deli as well as packaged adult beverages.