Infamous New Orleans real estate developer Joshua Bruno — an interesting character who most recently orchestrated an odd, elaborate marketing prank — was just not ready to quit his ambitious proposed development at 1035 Tchoupitoulas St., dubbed the Granaio Lofts, even after getting shut down by New Orleans City Council in April 2014. But after revising the design of the building and bringing to City Council again earlier this month, he finally got the OK to proceed with the project.
District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell lead the motion to reconsider the council's decision to reject the Granaio design, upholding an earlier rejection by the Historic Development Landmarks Commission. Part of their objection derived from designs for the building that called for the enclosed overhangs and balconies to stretch over the sidewalk. According to Cantrell at the council meeting, the developer modified the design to comply with the HDLC's guidelines, including reducing balcony sizes on several floors. The motion was passed unanimously, and even Bruno got pats on the back from council members, who commended him for being amenable to changes to the design and evoked world cities like Paris, Munich and Prague that have embraced modern architecture while also respecting historic real estate.
The proposed building is a 10-story, approximately 28,955 square-foot mixed use building. An early proposal boasted amenities including Crestron technology to regulate the building's energy usage, 360-degree views, a rooftop terrace and "living bio walls" (perhaps similar to what he did for this Metairie storefront?). Original proposals also had the apartment pulling some of the highest cost per square footage in New Orleans — with rents going for as much as $8,000 a month — but that wasn't addressed at the meeting.
Bruno wrote in a public Facebook post that they want to break ground on the lofts ASAP. "Waiting on a couple more items then engineering," the post says.
· WoodPeckerz vs. Hooters: Fat City prankster told to cease, desist [NOLA.com]
· Granaio Luxury Rentals Were Not A Hit With City Council [Curbed NOLA]
· New Orleans City Council meeting agenda, June 4 [City of New Orleans]
· Granaio super-luxury high rise slapped down by New Orleans City Council [NOLA.com]
· Granaio Lofts Is Back, Developer Seeking High End Restaurant Tenant [Canal Street Beat]
· Cactus-covered building sprouts up on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie [NOLA.com]
· All Granaio Lofts coverage [Curbed NOLA]