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Firehouse Conversion Gets The A-OK From City Council

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photo via Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans

Engine 37, a proposed coffeehouse and apartment conversion of an old firehouse on Laurel Street Uptown, got the thumbs-up from City Council. Uptown Messenger reports that a good-neighbor agreement will be ironed out before the actual zoning ordinance switch-up occurs. Because the structure has only been used as a firehouse and community center (and not as anything commercial) it didn't follow the city's master plan rules about commercial zoning, which led to some zoning roadblocks in September.

The owners scooped up this abandoned property at a city surplus auction for $280,000 and from the get-go neighbors were bitching about their plans. "This is a nice quiet neighborhood. We don't need people walking up and down the street all day and all night, throwing trash on the ground that my wife has to pick up. And I'll tell you what. The first time I come home with my 92-year-old father-in-law and I can't park in front of my house, there's going to be a problem," one cranky neighbor told The Advocate. Some are concerned about parking, others about preserving "precious residential neighborhoods." The owner hopes to start prepping the 1910 firehouse for construction in January and renovations should take a year or so.
· 'Engine 37' coffee house proposed for former Laurel Street fire station wins city approval [Uptown Messenger]
· All Engine 37 coverage [Curbed NOLA]