Land Use
 

City approves demolition of seven buildings for CVS at Elysian and Claiborne

The Neighborhood Conservation District Committee approved a proposal Monday to demolish seven buildings at the corner of Elysian Fields and Claiborne avenues to make way for a 13,600-square-foot CVS.

Under the plan, all the buildings on the western side of Elysian Fields between N. Derbigny Street and Claiborne would be torn down. The buildings to be razed include a gas station, a car wash, a funeral home, two residential structures and several modular metal structures.

The parking lot for the CVS would be at the corner of Claiborne and Elysian Fields.

Bill Murphy, a member of the Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association, asked the committee to delay approval so the community could learn more about the project.

He questioned whether a pharmacy would fuel illegal sales of prescription drugs and said the building isn’t designed for an urban environment. “This project is designed as a suburban store,” he said. “A lot of people will not be driving to the store, and it is designed to be driven to.”

Two of seven properties that would be razed to make room for a CVS pharmacy.

Karen Gadbois / The Lens

Two of seven properties that will be razed to make room for a CVS pharmacy.

But Paul Cramer, who sits on the committee and the City Planning Commission, urged committee members to approve the demolition before a Planning Commission meeting on Feb. 25, when it will consider rezoning additional vacant properties needed for the project.

Murphy said the community had just learned about the project. “There are a lot of issues that need to be talked through before we start tearing down buildings,” he said.

When questioned about neighborhood outreach, James Farrelly, with the engineering firm Linfield, Hunter, & Junius, said the city’s Neighborhood Participation Program had held a community meeting. It happened in November at Sojourner Truth Community Center on Lafitte Street, almost two miles from the proposed site.

Farrelly said the meeting was held there because no one else returned calls to host it.

He did say project leaders had met Monday with representatives of the St. Roch Improvement Association and would revise the site plan based on their input.

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  • nickelndime

    ADDITIONAL VACANT PROPERTIES NEEDED FOR THE PROJECT?!!! When does this stop?”But Paul Cramer, who sits on the committee and the City Planning Commission, urged committee members to approve the demolition before a Planning Commission meeting on Feb. 25, when it will consider rezoning additional vacant properties needed for the project.” Obviously MARIGNY stopped it, but BYWATER (St. Roch) doesn’t matter!? Is anybody else seriously offended by this kind of subterfuge, bullying, and corruption? How close does this have to come to somebody else’s backyard before others join in and say, “ENOUGH”!?!

  • IndigoCarmine

    Waitaminute, the city approved the teardowns before CVS hot all the zoning straightened out? Guess what kids: this may not happen. This is basically what they pulled when they wanted the St Claude space. They were in sales contracts with the buildings they needed out of the way, but the sales were contingent on zoning. The neighbors made themselves heard at the zoning board meeting loud and clear, and the CVS reps were completely and utterly unprepared. In fact, the guys CVS sent to represent the project were the babyfaced, softbellied, new grad building designers. It was kind of pathetic. I am 100% sure that the St Claude CVS was shot down due to our presence at each and every zoning board meeting. The variances they needed were not approved BECAUSE we raised our voices. If the neighborhood assn doesn’t rally NOW, then expect the CVS to roll right over you.

  • nickelndime

    Where are you, IndigoCarmine? I am a residential property owner in this area and have been so for 65 years. What is needed?

  • KnitZy

    I only learned about this from the Lens, emailed a “disapprove” comment immediately. But they don’t care or listen, have you ever seen the “Conservation” committee on TV? Automatic approval for each and every demolition. They should really change the name….And forget about the neighborhood participation project, that’s a big joke. Finally CVS can say they have contributed to the destrution of downtown, they’ve been trying for several years.

  • IndigoCarmine

    Go to every city council meeting and zoning board meeting that pertains to this project. Your voice needs to be heard. If the CVS people are the only voices heard without opposition (even just a handful of people is better than none!) they will get a green light for sure.