Danae Columbus: Zoning proposal latest twist in New Orleans’ complex real estate market

Domain Companies officials will meet with neighbors Friday, May 31, to explain a zoning map amendment for their South Market District properties including The Standard, The Beacon, The Paramount, and a 36,000-square-foot surface parking lot. They are asking to change the zoning from CBD -5 to CBD-1, which would allow for increased commercial use, including timeshares. Domain liaison Christian Brierre says the company is seeking the amendment “solely for the purpose of our retail spaces” and that The Paramount and The Beacon will “continue to be market-leading multifamily apartment products.”

Some neighbors wonder if Domain or a future owner could embrace timeshare as the highest and best use for those properties. Already, The Saratoga, the Maritime and 144 Elks Place are being redeveloped as timeshare or extended-stay properties. While there is general unevenness in real estate sales citywide, business-friendly zoning downtown — which has encouraged the proliferation of timeshares, hotels and short-term rentals — is keeping overall real estate sales strong.