holy cross

Janaya Williams / WWNO

Cheers and jeers erupted in city council chambers Thursday afternoon as the council voted “yes” to allowing a hotly contested zoning change that will clear the way for a developer, Perez APC, to build a five-story mixed-use residential property on the former site of the Holy Cross School in the Lower 9th Ward.

Neighborhood residents who fought to force the developer to build within current zoning laws left the meeting disappointed and angry. But supporters of the development, like Eric O’Neal Sr., said they were elated that the project would finally be allowed to move forward.

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.

Battle Brewing In Holy Cross Over Proposed Highrises

Apr 8, 2014
Karen Gadbois / The Lens

The Holy Cross neighborhood is tucked against the levee in the Lower 9th Ward. It takes its name from the historic Holy Cross School, which flooded after Katrina and re-opened in Gentilly, leaving behind a 13-acre campus of rolling fields reaching to the levees, and a vacant administration building with graceful, wrought-iron balconies.

There aren’t a lot of parks in the Lower 9. So the levee is used for exercise, picnicking and relaxing.