Joe Giarrusso for City Council receives key Democratic endorsements (sponsored)

The Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee, New Orleans Coalition, and Independent Democratic Electors Association (IDEA) are the latest organizations to endorse Joe Giarrusso for re-election to City Council, District A in the Oct. 9 election. ​”I’m incredibly proud to be the official candidate of the Democratic Party and to have the support of these leading organizations,” said Giarrusso. “This broad base of support is critical to fulfilling my mission of ensuring a bright future for District A and all New Orleans citizens. My re-election will ensure experienced and reasonable leadership as well as a proven track record of achieving results through collaboration.”

Demolitions create a tear in the fabric of a neighborhood, Faubourg Delachaise residents say

Three rundown ranch-style buildings that the Historic District Landmarks Commission recently approved for demolition were classified by HDLC staff as “non-contributing,” a label given to buildings found to be “not historically or architecturally significant.”

To the Faubourg Delachaise neighbors who addressed the commission on Aug. 4, however, the one-story four-plexes at 900 Aline St., 901 Foucher St. and 909 Foucher contributed to the neighborhood in ways that may not be evident to a casual observer or HDLC commissioner. “I live right across the street from this property,” said Laurel Street resident Debby Pigman. “And although I will not be very distressed to see the buildings disappear, I am very distressed that a lot of my friends in the area were forced to move.”

The loss, she said, is not just personal — it’s a loss to the entire neighborhood.

Join us in exploring benevolent societies and social aid clubs, hosted by Chelsey Richard Napoleon, Clerk of Civil District Court (sponsored)

In continuation of our virtual exhibits, we invite you to join us in exploring benevolent societies and social aid clubs in New Orleans. Our blog will feature a sampling of charters and notarial acts related to local benevolent societies and social aid clubs in our collection. Visit our website at www.orleanscivilclerk.com to view the blog. Visit us at the Research Center, where exhibits can be viewed in person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please contact the Research Center at 504-407-0106 or civilclerkresearchctr@orleanscdc.com.

St. Charles Avenue apartment developers to add more trees and green space

The corner of St. Charles and Louisiana is getting a little greener. 

On Wednesday (Aug. 17), the Historic District Landmark Commission’s Architectural Review Committee approved updated designs for the planned 115-unit residential and retail development at 3401 St. Charles. The new designs take into consideration the committee’s previous recommendation to add green space by incorporating more trees and two public courtyards along Louisiana Avenue. 

“We’re seeing this now as a great opportunity to not only increase the quantity and quality of public space, but to improve on the previous design,” said Ken Gowland of MetroStudio Architects in his presentation to the committee. 

This was the fourth meeting about 3401 St.

NORD promises to reopen Saratoga Playspot, outlines improvements to historic Atkinson-Stern Tennis Center

Calling Uptown’s Atkinson-Stern Tennis Center one of the city’s jewels, Larry Barabino Jr., CEO of the city’s recreation commission, said NORD is moving forward with its renovation plans for the historic tennis venue. Barabino told the City Council’s Community Development Committee last week that the renovations that began in late 2020 are expected to continue until at least the end of this year. That information session will be discussed tonight (Aug. 17) at the Delachaise Neighborhood Association meeting. Opening in 1897 as a private club, Atkinson-Stern is one of the nation’s oldest tennis centers.

Viewpoint: If not the Municipal Auditorium, what could become the next City Hall?

While Mayor LaToya Cantrell told members of the Save Our Soul (SOS) coalition Tuesday that she was “good” with the Municipal Auditorium not becoming the next City Hall, the historic structure remains her first choice probably because of the $38 million allocation from FEMA that comes with it. 

Cantrell has given SOS a 90-day deadline to come up with a solid, fully funded plan to renovate, operate and maintain the auditorium. In the event that SOS successfully meets that goal, city officials might want to start looking at other suitable ›locations across New Orleans. If the prevailing sentiment is to stay in the downtown area, the Plaza Tower could be ripe for the picking. The 485,000-square-foot building features 45 floors, 13 elevators and its own parking garage. There’s even a separate parking lot for sale directly behind the building.

Development on former Rite Aid site on St. Charles wins appeal over zoning

By Sharon Lurye

Developers working on the new apartment complex at 3401 St. Charles Ave. won another victory at the Board of Zoning Adjustments meeting on Monday, as board officers unanimously agreed that the project qualifies for a density bonus that allows it to fit more units per square foot. The complex, planned for the site where a Rite Aid store has been left vacant for several years, will consist of an apartment building on St. Charles and Louisiana and townhouse-style apartments on the other side of the lot at Delachaise and Carondelet streets.

University area neighbors taking another look at parking restrictions after Planning Commission vote

The City Planning Commission on Tuesday (July 13) gave a thumbs-down to continuing and expanding an off-street parking mandate in the University area aimed at stemming the tide of “doubles to dorms” conversions. The commissioners backed the city planners, who recommended denying the proposal, calling it “inappropriate, regressive and harmful.”

The concerns voiced by commissioners, the City Planning staff and advocacy groups have sent the proposal’s proponents, District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso and a host of neighborhood associations, back to the drawing board for further tweaks. The measure would establish a zoning district, the University Area Off-Street Parking Overlay District, where developers are required to create an off-street parking space for each increase in the number of bedrooms.

The City Council will next vote on the proposal. In September, the council approved an Interim Zoning District with an off-street parking requirement despite the Planning Commission’s recommendation for denial. That IZD is set to expire in two months.