Affordable housing, child-care center proposed for blighted firehouse

A blighted firehouse on Louisiana Avenue could be transformed into affordable housing and an early childhood center, if plans submitted to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority are granted final approval. The proposal was presented Wednesday evening (July 27) at a public Zoom meeting to inform the community about ongoing plans for renovating and repurposing the disused firehouse at 2314 Louisiana Ave. 

Mid-July marked the close of NORA’s solicitation for the development proposal period, and the organizations Home by Hand and Alembic Community Development presented their joint plans for the site. Their proposal would see the old firehouse renovated to become an early childhood education center on the ground floor and seven affordable rental units on the two floors above. “One of the requirements of the program is that any development that arises from the [NORA-run] program must create either affordable housing units or economic development opportunities in the form of jobs,” said NORA project manager Kyle Gilmore. 

The city is leasing the property to NORA for a 99-year term; NORA will then sublease it to a development partner that administers the overall process of putting the building back into use. According to NORA, an award for the sub-lease will be granted Aug.

Zimpel Street cottage sets off battle between developers and neighbors

The City Council on Thursday (July 21) handed Carrollton area neighbors a victory by overturning the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s approval of plans to partially demolish a house near Tulane University. The approval would have allowed developers Preston Tedesco and Sidney “Sam” Torres V to add a second story to a 1,359-square-foot single-family home they purchased on Zimpel Street. The plans they filed with the city show two units with a “doubles-to-dorms” layout. On June 1, the HDLC voted 8-2 to allow the entire roof and 65% of the facade to be demolished so the second floor could be added. The HDLC staff found that the modest mid-century building, rated as “non-contributing,” had nothing to distinguish it.

Nix Library on Carrollton reopens after 17 months

It’s been a long wait, but the Carrollton neighborhood has its library back. Nix Library on South Carrollton Avenue reopened Tuesday (July 19) after 17 months. The tiny branch library was shuttered in February 2021 for American Disabilities Act upgrades, including the installation of an ADA-compliant wheelchair lift and improvements to make the public bathrooms more accessible. During the ADA renovations, workers found other “maintenance challenges” in the 92-year-old building, a library spokesperson told Uptown Messenger in March. The work included roofing and internal repairs.

Developers break ground on Grove Place affordable housing complex

Developers, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso, members of the Hollygrove Neighborhood Association and other officials broke ground Tuesday (July 20) on the Grove Place affordable housing development. City officials and the developer touted the planned Grove Place community as providing affordable rents for 32 households in an area with easy access to public transportation to multiple job centers. Grove Place is expected to be move-in ready by summer 2023. The land has approximately 360 foot of frontage on Earhart Boulevard and takes up the entire square block between Monroe and Leonidas streets, a total of 1.8 acres. The development includes 23 historic rehabilitated units and nine newly constructed units.

Controversial zoning request for Molly’s Rise and Shine is back on the city’s agenda

Breakfast and brunch luminary Molly’s Rise and Shine is getting a second chance at a zoning change that will give it the opportunity to add alcohol to its menu. The City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to direct the City Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing on changing the building’s zoning from residential to business and to permit a conditional use to allow a standard restaurant with alcoholic beverage services. Three years ago, the same request was shut down in the same chamber after gaining approval, with restrictions, from the Planning Commission. Now a new City Council will have a chance to consider it. At both 2019 hearings, the proposal faced opposition from the restaurant’s neighbors in the Irish Channel and Garden District.

Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman celebrates ‘pink tax’ exemption (sponsored)

Freeman’s Law Ending State Tax on Feminine Hygiene Products and Diapers Effective Today. A new law to end the so-called “pink tax” authored by state Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman, D-New Orleans, became effective today (July 1). It provides for a state sales and use tax exemption for feminine hygiene products and diapers for personal use and extends the effectiveness of optional local tax exemptions. “As a woman, mother, and grandmother, ending the pink tax was one of my first and top priorities as a legislator. Taxing feminine hygiene products and diapers while other necessities were tax free is unfair to women.

Join us for our Senior Summer Tours, hosted by Chelsey Richard Napoleon, Clerk of Civil District Court (sponsored)

The Honorable Chelsey Richard Napoleon is excited to announce Senior Summer Tours this year! The Clerk’s Office consists of two divisions – Land Records and Civil. Our Civil Division is where civil cases — such as personal injury, accidents, successions and foreclosures — are filed. Domestic matters, such as divorce and child support, are also handled in the Civil Division. The Land Records Division is where documents regarding property are recorded.

Roadwork officials to answer questions at District B ‘Coffee on Your Corner’

The city’s Neighborhood Engagement Office is hosting representativea from the Department of Public Works’ RoadworkNOLA: Nakia Polk, director of Special Projects & Strategic Engagement Office of Capital Improvement and Christopher Lloyd, outreach manager for the city’s Capital Improvement Program will be there. Polk and Lloyd will provide updates and answer questions about infrastructure projects in District B.

District B residents can bring their questions and concerns to a “Coffee on Your Corner” event on Thursday (June 30) from 10 to 11:30 a.m. It will be held in the Large Meeting room of the Keller Community Center, 4300 S. Broad St. Pre-registration is required. Go to www.nola.gov/neoevents to register. Uptown includes sections of both District A and District B. To find out if you’re in District B, check the map here.