Land Use

Live blog: City Council approves rezoning for Holy Cross development

Update: The council approved the rezoning by a vote of 5-1. Read the live blog below for details.

The highly controversial Holy Cross condo project is set to go before the New Orleans City Council today.

Perez, APC is seeking a zoning change that would allow for the construction of two towers along the river in the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood of Holy Cross.

The company first proposed a 135-foot high development, then dropped it to 75 feet in response to complaints that it would tower over the neighborhood of shotguns and cottages.

The current proposal is for two 60-foot buildings. That’s still higher than the current zoning allows, but it’s in line with the city’s draft zoning rules for the area.

The Holy Cross Neighborhood Association has maintained consistent opposition to the project and has complained about Perez’s tactics — including a petition with questionable signatures — in trying to gather support for the project.

Councilman James Gray, who represents the neighborhood, has spoken in favor of the development. Tuesday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he supports the current plan.

Both Times-Picayune and The New Orleans Advocate have published opinion pieces critical of the proposed development.

This will be the first regular meeting of the newly elected council. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m.; the Holy Cross proposal is supposed to be heard around 11 a.m.

Live blog

Help us report this story     Report an error    
The Lens' donors and partners may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover.
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.

  • tsb

    Reminds me of the Rattner project in downtown Brooklyn. In that instance a key bit of leverage was his promise for affordable housing, which split the neighborhood, a bit. Otherwise it would have been entirely neighborhood against developer. I feel so bad for New Orleans in this instance, as the tension between maintaining its beauty and the economics of modern development are in such stark relief. Al these gorgeous buildings here exist not because of foresight but, really, a benign neglect. Now that there is money to be made, look out. Who is going to be the Jackie O of Nola and stand up for landmark preservation? Maybe Karen Gadbois.

  • 6th Ward Transplant

    Who was displaced by this project? No one. There is no valid comparison to Atlantic Yards. The Lower 9 needs density to pay for public service delivery and justify future streetcar expansion. The developer could have been more inclusionary from the beginning. They do not teach this in architecture school. These buildings are mid rise and will not blot out the sun. Angry opposition could have been prevented if the developer brought residents to the table at the visioning phase before plans were solidified.

  • CX

    This won’t be the last time this issue comes up. There are many miles of waterfront that could possibly be developed with mid to high rises. As a city, do we turn away development? As a neighborhood, do we take any development? The answer to both questions is no. There has to be more engaged conversation in how we find the balance. Whether you agree or disagree with this specific project, the issue is definitely larger.