A controversial development proposed for the Holy Cross neighborhood in the Lower 9th Ward heads to the New Orleans City Council later today. Neighbors are fighting a 13-acre development they say threatens riverfront neighborhoods throughout the city.
The Holy Cross Neighborhood Association is battling Perez developers over the mixed-use plan for the former Holy Cross School site. Perez is asking for a zoning change that would allow two condo towers at the riverfront alongside the existing traditional shotgun homes.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu now supports a scaled-down version of the development. So does Councilmember James Gray, whose district includes Holy Cross. Three new councilmembers sworn in this week are now voting on the project.
Neighborhood association president Sarah DeBacher says a zoning change could affect the whole city.
“Once that high rise goes in, it becomes easier for the next one and easier for the next one and easier for the next one," she said. "And then what you have is a city filled with high-rise residential developments with truly jaw-dropping views that benefit the people who can afford them, but at what expense to the character and the authenticity of the city?”
Residents say they’d support a delay of the project for further review. Developers say a delay could mean a two-year setback in the application process.