Blighted firehouse on Louisiana is up for redevelopment

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is taking steps to renovate the dilapidated firehouse at 2314 Louisiana Ave. The agency is seeking community input on how to redevelop the 7,000-square-foot city-owned building. On Wednesday evening (March 10), NORA hosted a community meeting via Zoom. The historic firehouse is blighted, and NORA’s goal put it back into commerce. Seth Knudsen, NORA’s real estate development director, said the vacant firehouse is zoned as a historic urban mixed-use district, or HU-MU, which permits residential use as well as a variety of commercial uses from child care to medical and dental clinics to grocery stores and more. 

“When we consider the range of things that’s permitted, this is among the most diverse zoning districts in the city and really contemplates a pretty wide range of possible future uses for the structure,” Knudsen said.

Tulane University’s burgeoning residential village receives major donation

The university’s new residential village currently taking shape along McAlister Way on the Uptown campus received a boost recently from an alumnus whose name is synonymous with Tulane men’s basketball. Real estate magnate Avron B. Fogelman, a 1962 Tulane graduate, and his wife, Wendy Fogelman, a 1963 Newcomb College graduate, are providing the lead gift to build the pre-eminent student hall in the university’s residential project. The gift will propel the construction of Fogelman Hall. The freshman residence will replace Irby Hall, a popular residence hall on the former Bruff Quad next to McAlister Auditorium. Fogelman Hall will be one of five new residential buildings in The Village, the name for Tulane President Michael Fitts’ vision for reimagining the university’s residential spaces.

Saying goodbye to Harry’s Ace Hardware won’t be easy for Uptown residents

It turns out that grabbing a Hubig’s Pie on the way to the register at Harry’s Ace Hardware was a small pleasure we took for granted. For over six decades, Uptowners assumed the store with the friendly staff  — and the pies – would always be there. 

Harry’s Ace, like the fried pies that used to be on their top shelf, is soon to be filed under the most dread of New Orleans idioms, “ain’t dere no more.” The latter hopes to return next year, but after more than a century, the former, Harry’s, is hanging up its hat. Sometime next spring, the familiar shop under the red awning on the corner of Magazine Street is shutting its doors. The closure was announced Dec.

Tipitina’s expansion moves forward with City Council approval

It’s been a tough slog for the city’s live-music industry since the pandemic hit, but one classic Uptown venue is looking to the future with plans to expand. Tipitina’s music club received approval from the City Council on Thursday to open a new club next door. The new venue will be a café and restaurant by day and a bar with live music at night. “With Covid and all that has been shut down, this is an exciting thing to watch, that Tipitina’s is actually expanding,” said District B Councilman Jay H. Banks. “Anything we can do to let our culture bearers, the backbone of our economy, to have more opportunities to work, is a good thing.”

City Council approves University Area Off-Street Parking Overlay

The City Council passed a motion Thursday establishing the University Area Off-Street Parking Overlay, making permanent the Interim Zoning District aimed at curbing the spread of investor-owned “doubles-to-dorms.”

Since the restrictions were temporarily established in March 2020, the overlay has expanded geographically while becoming more limited in scope and application. The overlay still requires one off-street parking space for each newly created bedroom in the area, but now it applies only to new homes or renovations with more than four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms per unit. It also features carve-outs for homes with a homestead exemption and for affordable housing projects. In addition, it only applies to residential districts. And to reduce stormwater runoff, each new parking space must be permeable.

Film studio gets a thumbs up from City Planning Commission for new building in Lower Garden District

New Orleans’ expansion as a center for TV and film production moved a step forward Tuesday as Second Line Stages got City Planning Commission approval to build a new office building in the Lower Garden District. The Planning Commission voted in favor of changing the zoning of a lot at 836 Market St. to allow construction of the two-story commercial building, although its own staff recommended denying the studio’s request. Lower Garden District neighbors have also objected to the request, saying the studio’s activities have been intrusive. 

The TV and film studio’s three stages have served as a backdrop for numerous productions, including American Horror Story: Coven, Treme, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. 

The new office building, located behind the studio, will be about 32,000 square feet with a landscaped parking area. About 30 to 45 people will be able to work there. 

The property is zoned for residential use.

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.