photo by Dee Allen
The proposed demolitions of three, two-family houses on Tchoupitoulas Street have been deferred to the New Orleans City Council meeting on Feb. 1, according to Councilmember Giarrusso’s office. The move is the next step in the appeal process after the demolitions were denied by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) in December.
The row of vacant buildings (5514-5516, 5518-5520, and 5524 Tchoupitoulas St.) is owned by Car Wash Blues, LLC, which also owns Uptown Car Wash that surrounds the residences on three sides. The plan is to expand the car wash services to include a detail area. The proposed expansion, which requires a conditional use, would involve re-subdividing the lots that contain the houses to form one, larger site for expansion. The car wash has owned the doubles for more than 10 years, leaving the properties to deteriorate and applying for a previous demolition permit in 2012.
The PRC does not want these residential buildings to remain blighted. Something needs to be done to address their condition. But, as the city faces an affordable housing crisis, why sacrifice six residential units in a prime location?
Public comments can be submitted prior to or in-person at the City Council meeting on Feb. 1.
MaryNell Nolan-Wheatley is PRC’s Advocacy Coordinator & Public Policy Research Director.