Renovations at Tchoupitoulas apartments may quell neighbors’ concerns, for now

The new owner of an apartment complex at Tchoupitoulas and State streets is renovating the large collection of units there in hopes attracting college students and tenants with ties to nearby Children’s Hospital, property managers said Wednesday, possibly bringing some short-term reassurance to nearby neighbors worried that the lot could become a major commercial medical development. Investor Ben Gravolet bought the collection of two-story brick apartment buildings in December, and about 60 units are currently occupied, said maintenance manager Lisa Matthews. About eight more units around the complex are being renovated now with extensive repairs and new appliances, after which the buildings’ exteriors will get a facelift, Matthews said, and the final job will be a total renovation of the building at 223 State, which burned several years ago. The renovated units are intended to draw tenants attending classes at Tulane or Loyola, or possibly either working at Children’s Hospital or wishing to stay near a long-term patient there, she said. “We want to keep people that are clean and quiet,” Matthews said.

Restaurant expansion, child-care facility, real-estate deal all raise neighbors’ concerns

The proposed expansion of a Magazine Street bar, the possibility of a commercial development on Tchoupitoulas, and a child-care center on a residential block are all drawing the wary attention of their neighbors in Uptown’s Audubon-Riverside neighborhood. The agenda for the Aug. 23 meeting of the City Planning Commission includes a request at 6100-6108 Magazine Street — the address of Monkey Hill Bar — for an expansion of restaurant space and second-floor office and storage space. Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association board member Cele Gordon pointed out a Tuesday night meeting that the property owners have not sought to inform the neighborhood about their plans, and suggested that the association draft a letter making this clear to the planning commission. “Our association has never been approached and [we] don’t know anything about it, so we can’t take a formal position on it,” said Tim Betbeze, ARNA vice president, agreeing with a need for a letter to the city.

Street flooding reported on Tchoupitoulas, through Lower Garden District

Monday morning’s downpour caused street flooding across the New Orleans area, including along Tchoupitoulas and through the Lower Garden District. Officials warned of impassable water at the following Uptown locations:

Tchoupitoulas and Jackson
Calliope and Baronne
Philip and Chestnut
Tchoupitoulas from Louisiana to Napoleon
Magazine from Calliope to Tchoupitoulas
St. Charles and Amelia

“Please think safety first and avoid driving through flooded streets,” urged the city Office of Emergency Preparedness. The flood warning is in place until 9:45 a.m.

Flooding was also heavy on the Westbank, officials reported.

Man, 51, gunned down behind Tchoupitoulas

A 51-year-old man was gunned down at noon Sunday on an small road between Tchoupitoulas Street and the river, police said. A passer-by heard gunshots from behind a building and then saw a gray or silver vehicle fleeing from Dufossat Street onto Tchoupitoulas, according to an NOPD news release. The witness went behind the building and found the victim lying on the sidewalk in the 5100 block of South Front Street, and then called police, the release stated. The victim, whose name police are not releasing until his family is notified, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead on the scene, police said. Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 822-1111.

Fear and mistaken-identity mystery follow invasion of woman’s home

On the floor of her shotgun home, her hands bound with a pair of her tights and a sweater wrapped around her head as a blindfold, the sassy, self-described computer geek known to much of New Orleans as “Liz Money” tried to keep calm and avoid making any sound that might aggravate the man ransacking her house, her mind teeming with rapid-fire questions as she struggled to figure out how to stay alive. After turning her house and her life upside down in a search for a safe that she never had, the man left without harming her. But in the week since that traumatic evening, another home has been invaded under nearly identical circumstances, her own home has been broken into yet again, and the mystery has only deepened as to why she has become a target in what New Orleans police are calling someone else’s drug vendetta. “Liz Money” is a joking nickname the victim received back in her early 20s (her “going-out” days, she says) that she now uses as a social-media handle with well over 1,000 followers and friends on Twitter and Facebook each. To avoid exposing her to further danger from attackers who have yet to be caught, UptownMessenger.com is referring to her in this article with that public persona rather than her real name.

NOPD: Uptown home invasions this week likely related

Two Uptown New Orleans homes were broken into this week by men who tied up the women inside and then ransacked the home in cases that police say share so many similarities that they are almost certainly related. In separate cases, police have also seen a rash of gun violence in the Leonidas area and captured a man they say stole a stack of computers from a Freret Street nonprofit, officers and investigators said Wednesday at the weekly meeting of the NOPD’s Uptown-based Second District. Home invasions

The first home invasion was reported Sunday in the 4800 block of Tchoupitoulas, said Lt. Mike Montalbano, head of the Second District investigative unit. A woman was inside her home when a stranger broke in through the window, tied her up, covered her head, and began rummaging around her belongings, demanding, “Where’s the safe? Where’s the safe?”

Second lines Saturday through Central City, Sunday around Louisiana Avenue corridor

Two second lines will parade through areas of Uptown New Orleans this weekend, one running the length of Central City on Saturday and another looping through the neighborhoods around Louisiana Avenue on Sunday. The Lady Jetsetters, making up for an earlier parade that was canceled due to weather, will begin at noon Saturday on Washington Avenue beyond Broad Street and cut a long swath through Central City, passing down Martin Luther King Boulevard and ending on Dryades Street in Milan. The second line will feature the Stooges Brass Band. The Ladies and Men of Unity Fifth Year Anniversary Parade is scheduled to begin at 11:45 p.m. Sunday at the Rock Bottom Lounge on Tchoupitoulas. Featuring the Hot 8 Brass Band, the second line will head up to Magazine Street, then Louisiana Avenue, St.

Downtown-to-Uptown second line to pass through Milan, end on Tchoupitoulas

The Original Four S&P Club will parade Sunday from Armstrong Park to Uptown, crossing through the Milan neighborhood and ending on Tchoupitoulas. The latter portion of the parade is primarily on Louisiana Avenue. Stops along the route include the Ash Cultural Arts Center on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, Silkey’s on Magnolia Street, The Other Place on Foucher Street, LeRoux on Louisiana Avenue, ending at the Rock Bottom Lounge on Tchoupitoulas. The second line is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

Second line on Sunday through Irish Channel, up Magazine, Central City and Garden District

The Prince of Wales 82nd Annual Second Line will parade through several Uptown neighborhoods Sunday. The second line begins at 1 p.m. at the Rock Bottom Lounge, 3801 Tchoupitoulas, and heads up to Magazine Street, up Louisiana Avenue, then back down through Central City, the Garden District and Irish Channel before disbanding at the Rock Bottom Lounge. Stops include: Reesie’s Snowball Stand on Magazine (marked “1” on the map), Sandpiper Lounge (2) on Louisiana, Charlie Wright’s Watering Hole (3) in Central City, Commander’s Palace (4) in the Garden District and CTC Steppers (5) in the Irish Channel. This year’s second line is dedicated “in memory of Dinneral Shavers, Brandon Franklin and all our departed Prince of Wales/Lady Wales,” according to the announcement. (via patjolly.com)