- Associated Press - Saturday, July 19, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A proposal to build a 138-room hotel in the Central Business District has advanced after the New Orleans Board of Zoning Adjustments approved the project over the objections of neighbors concerned about its impact on parking in the area.

Chicago-based HW Real Estate Development Corp. plans a six-story hotel with a ground-floor restaurant on a lot that faces on Julia and Baronne streets, New Orleans CityBusiness reported (https://bit.ly/1mR8lS ).

The zoning board granted the developers setbacks needed to provide space between neighboring buildings and a residence on Julia Street.

Jack Stewart, president of the Lafayette Square Association, said the chief issue with nearby residents is its impact on parking, he told the board that parking is becoming scarce as lots are absorbed into commercial developments.

Cassandra Sharpe, a Julia Street resident, said the proposed hotel is planned on a very small space.

But architect Amanda Rivera of Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, who represented the developers, told the zoning board the neighborhood includes several comparable developments.

The zoning board denied a request by developers to waive five of 46 required parking spaces. Rivera said the developers are in negotiations with the owners of nearby parking lots to lease those spaces.

A vacant lot and a parking shed now occupy the 26,000-square-foot site where the hotel and restaurant are planned.

Documents filed with the city identify Michael and Gilda Winfield as principals of HW Real Estate Development Corp.

A timeline for building the hotel has not been determined. The project still requires approval from the Historic District Landmarks Commission and the City Council. Demolition of the parking shed must also be approved.


Information from: New Orleans CityBusiness, https://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com

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