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Holy Cross Plans Head to City Council With No Recommendation

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The controversial redevelopment at the site of the former Holy Cross School, which includes plans for two 75-foot tall riverfront residences, hits City Council next week with no recommendation from the Historic District Landmark Commission. The HDLC has no say on restricting buildings' heights (Holy Cross zoning rules cap the height at 40-feet, by the way) and were only supposed to vote on the size and shape of the proposed structures, but didn't come to an agreement, The Times-Pic reports. Last month, the City Planning Commission didn't come to a decision on this plan, either.

This has been the center of some neighborhood beefing since Perez architecture firm signed a purchase agreement in August 2012 for the 13-acre site in the Holy Cross neighborhood of the Lower Ninth Ward. Redevelopment plans call for renovating the lone remaining structure on the site and turning it into offices and commercial space, building four mixed-use buildings, plus condos and apartments in the two high-rises. This would bring 284 residential units and 521 parking spots to the property. The pro-development side, which includes the Perez-backed Revive Lower 9 group, sees this as a much-needed bounce back for the neighborhood and says it will get the economic development gears moving. But plenty of Holy Cross residents, concerned about traffic clogging the one-way streets, zoning changes and height waivers, and the historic character of the neighborhood, are less than pleased with the plans.
· Historic Landmarks Commission fails to reach consensus on Holy Cross project [NOLA.com]
· Revive Lower 9 [official site]
· Support development that is consistent with the existing zoning and historic character of the Holy Cross neighborhood [change.org]
· Perez, APC [official site]