This story appeared in the February issue of PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door nine times a year? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!
Five-story Bywater apartment complex
ADDRESS: 882 Montegut St. — map it!
DEVELOPER: Iris Development
ARCHITECTS: Rozas Ward Architects
BUILDER: Ryan Gootee General Contractors, LLC
ENGINEER: Pace Engineering Group
DEVELOPMENT: When completed later this year, the new five-story apartment building along the 800 block of Montegut Street in the Bywater will offer 70 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, 10 of which will be affordable for a term of 99 years, according to Iris Development. Designed by Rozas Ward architects with Pace Engineering Group, the project is the successor to a prior multi-family proposal submitted using the alternate address 2930 Burgundy St.
The Industrial Development Board of New Orleans provided a 15-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes), an incentive that allows developers to forgo property taxes during a depreciation period in exchange for a public benefit such as affordable housing or economic development. When the Bywater Historic District was established in 1993, five city squares between then-Press and Montegut streets were omitted in all or part because metal warehouses in the area, which flank a Norfolk Southern railroad spur, were not deemed historic. As a result, the new Iris Development project was not subject to approval by the Historic District Landmarks Commission. The prior industrial and commercial use also accounts for a mixed-use zoning that allows for greater density along this narrow stretch between the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods.
In 2018, the five blocks of Press Street lining the railroad between the Mississippi River and St. Claude Avenue were renamed Homer Plessy Way in honor of the Reconstruction-era activist who boarded a train nearby in defiance of the Louisiana Separate Car Act. This culminated in an 1896 Supreme Court case upholding segregation for more than a generation. In January 2022, Gov. John Bel Edwards posthumously pardoned Plessy
— Nathan Lott
Canopy by Hilton, formerly the Oil and Gas Building
ADDRESS: 1100 Tulane Ave. — map it!
DEVELOPER: Dallas-based NewcrestImage and Baywood Hotels, Inc., based in Columbia, Md.
DEVELOPMENT: NewcrestImage and Baywood Hotels, Inc., is wrapping up the renovation of the 62-year-old Oil and Gas Building into a new Canopy by Hilton hotel. The 14-story building, nestled in the curve of Common and Rampart streets in the Central Business District, first opened in 1959 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. “The Oil and Gas Building is significant … as a particularly important expression of post-WWII modernism within Louisiana,” according to the National Register documents. The building, known for its glass, steel and abstract geometry, was originally designed by August Perez and Associates, with Edward B. Silverstein as associate architect.
“We are a development company that is very much about preservation, conservation and adaptive-reuse,” Mehul Patel, chairman and chief executive officer of NewcrestImage said in a press release. “This new hotel will preserve the past and make it work for the present.”
The Oil and Gas building project will be NewcrestImage’s third hotel in New Orleans and the fourth hotel in Louisiana for Baywood. Reservations for the new hotel are available beginning March 27, according to Hilton.com.
— Susan Langenhennig