NEW ORLEANS — The City Council has rejected a 25-foot height waiver sought by a developer who wants to build an apartment building in Faubourg Marigny.
Developer Sean Cummings said the decision “kills the project.”
Without the ability to build the modernistic, six-story building to a height of 75 feet, he said the $20 million project isn’t viable.
The council rejected the waiver on a unanimous vote.
The vote came at the urging of Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer. Cummings said he received no advance word on Palmer’s position.
Cummings wanted to build the structure as part of a three-building complex with 73 upscale apartments, likely to be converted to condominiums in a few years.
The project, to be called the Elisio Lofts, also would have had 74 covered parking spaces and three commercial units, probably including a restaurant.
Palmer, whose district includes the site, said she thinks “there is some room” for additional height at the corner of Elysian Fields Avenue and Decatur Street, though probably not for 75 feet, but that she was not willing to approve any waiver as long as the zoning law sets a 50-foot limit.
The proposal sharply divided residents of Faubourg Marigny with many demanding the city grant no exceptions to the 50-foot height limit in the mainly low-rise historic neighborhood.
Other residents and business owners praised Cummings’ plans.
The City Planning Commission voted in June to endorse the overall project. However, the Historic District Landmarks Commission voted in August against giving “conceptual approval” to the 75-foot building. Such approval would have endorsed its height and mass.
The council voted after hearing comments from each side earlier this week. Opponents, many wearing T-shirts reading “Size Matters,” outnumbered supporters in the audience.