Squandered Heritage

City agency can’t reach consensus, so corner-store demolition is denied

The potential buyers of a small apartment building that once housed a typical New Orleans corner store along Nashville Avenue did not walk away from a city hearing this week with a hoped-for demolition permit.

If they want to try again on their plan to knock down the two-story building at the corner of Patton Street and replace it with two single-family homes, the would-be buyers can now appeal to the City Council.

Representing the prospective purchasers, Robert Carroll appeared before the Historic District Landmarks Commission and said the existing building was out of character with the neighborhood. He said the plan for two new homes would be an improvement.

Deputy Director Eleanor Burke responded: “To say it is out of character with the neighborhood isn’t true. It is absolutely in character with the neighborhood.”

Neighbor Amy Coyle opposes the demolition and spoke against it.

“I am an architect, I live next door and it needs to be preserved,” she said.

Carroll said the buyers can’t make a purchase work financially without the demolition and proposed rebuilding.

A motion to deny the demolition did not muster enough votes to pass — nor did a subsequent  motion to allow the demolition. Therefore, the permit was denied.

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led to guilty pleas in federal court. Her work attracted some of journalism's highest honors, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • boathead12

    thanks Karen.
    this neighborhood is not protected by hdlc. Why is this property singled out?

    if I only had a nickel for everytime I’ve heard a pro demolition person say “the economics of the project are untenable if the request is denied”. Then three years later we see someone accomplish it with out the special considerations requested.

    And I must laugh out loud at the concept of a New Orleans corner store being out of character with a New Orleans neighborhood!

    the City Council has a history of voting unanimously with the district Council person. Where does miss guidry stand on this?