The Uptown neighborhood no one knew about, revealed by author and ‘river rat’ Macon Fry

Macon Fry sat on his deck on a spring afternoon, above the swirling waters of the Mississippi River. Fry is weathered, composed and about to share an amusing find stumbled upon while researching his book — but he’s interrupted by a goat. Actually, two. Both goats have the run of the front porch and plank bridge that leads from the levee, over the water, to his front door. The goats begged for a snack, which Fry attended to.

City Council approves compromise allowing new Magazine Street building

The City Council backed a plan to approve a controversial new building on Magazine Street in the Irish Channel while requiring further design changes to the three-story mixed-use building. The Historic District Landmarks Commission had gave the project its conceptual approval in April. The Garden District Association then filed an appeal asking the City Council to overturn the HDLC’s decision. In the appeal, Garden District Association President Frank Tessier quotes liberally from the HDLC’s guidelines for new construction, pointing out requirements — such as aligning balconies, roof ridges and other elements with adjacent buildings — that he states were not followed by the commission when it approved the design for 2230 Magazine. The appeal states the building is too large for the site, despite guidelines that require compatibility in size and massing.

New building on Magazine Street gets HDLC approval over neighbors’ objections

In a divided vote held after two months of hearings, the Historic District Landmarks Commission gave the green light to a new mixed-use building on Magazine Street in the Irish Channel. Their April 6 ruling will now go before the City Council, which could overturn the vote. The Garden District Association has filed an appeal, GDA Executive Director Shelley Landrieu told Uptown Messenger. Garden District, Irish Channel and Lower Garden District residents came out in force to oppose the plans for the three-story 15,000-square-foot building planned for an empty lot at 2230 Magazine St. The HDLC received 29 letters of opposition to the plans and one letter of support, according to city records.

Lower Garden District development promises to transform the riverfront

A new neighborhood is planned for the a whopping 27 acres of vacant land in the Lower Garden District. The developers’ plans include 1,100 new apartments, a boutique hotel, an “apartment hotel,” a grocery store, bars, restaurants, fitness center, offices, green space, a museum and an entertainment venue. The developers say they could break ground as soon as next year.?

“This development is an opportunity for a one-of-a-kind mixed-use site that will bring everything you want to see in a neighborhood and more,” land-use consultant Nicole Webre announced to the audience of a public meeting via Zoom last month. Webre is part of River District Neighborhood Investor LLC, the team selected in 2021 by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center board to develop the site.?

According to the plans that the investors submitted when securing their bid for the development, roughly 40% of the new housing units will be affordable or “workforce” housing, priced below market rate. The River District? would completely remake what is currently a zone of empty lots just upriver from the Crescent City Connection — a rare undeveloped patch of land on even rarer high ground within the city.

Blighted firehouse on Louisiana is up for redevelopment

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is taking steps to renovate the dilapidated firehouse at 2314 Louisiana Ave. The agency is seeking community input on how to redevelop the 7,000-square-foot city-owned building. On Wednesday evening (March 10), NORA hosted a community meeting via Zoom. The historic firehouse is blighted, and NORA’s goal put it back into commerce. Seth Knudsen, NORA’s real estate development director, said the vacant firehouse is zoned as a historic urban mixed-use district, or HU-MU, which permits residential use as well as a variety of commercial uses from child care to medical and dental clinics to grocery stores and more.?

“When we consider the range of things that’s permitted, this is among the most diverse zoning districts in the city and really contemplates a pretty wide range of possible future uses for the structure,” Knudsen said.

Tulane University’s burgeoning residential village receives major donation

The university’s new residential village currently taking shape along McAlister Way on the Uptown campus received a boost recently from an alumnus whose name is synonymous with Tulane men’s basketball. Real estate magnate Avron B. Fogelman, a 1962 Tulane graduate, and his wife, Wendy Fogelman, a 1963 Newcomb College graduate, are providing the lead gift to build the pre-eminent student hall in the university’s residential project. The gift will propel the construction of Fogelman Hall. The freshman residence will replace Irby Hall, a popular residence hall on the former Bruff Quad next to McAlister Auditorium. Fogelman Hall will be one of five new residential buildings in The Village, the name for Tulane President Michael Fitts’ vision for reimagining the university’s residential spaces.

Saying goodbye to Harry’s Ace Hardware won’t be easy for Uptown residents

It turns out that grabbing a Hubig’s Pie on the way to the register at Harry’s Ace Hardware was a small pleasure we took for granted. For over six decades, Uptowners assumed the store with the friendly staff? — and the pies – would always be there.?

Harry’s Ace, like the fried pies that used to be on their top shelf, is soon to be filed under the most dread of New Orleans idioms, “ain’t dere no more.” The latter hopes to return next year, but after more than a century, the former, Harry’s, is hanging up its hat. Sometime next spring, the familiar shop under the red awning on the corner of Magazine Street is shutting its doors. The closure was announced Dec.