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Blighted Lower Garden District Property, Owned By the Church Next Door, Will Be Renovated Into Offices, Apartments

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A landscape architecture firm is moving in

On the small LGD thoroughfare Sophie Wright Place, which is off Magazine Street and in recent years has become populated with hip retailers and a popular wedding venue, a blighted property owned by a neighboring church is the street's one eyesore. But after years of neglect, a local landscape architecture firm is in the process of renovating the property and moving in.

Elizabeth Mossop, director of the landscape architecture firm Spackman Mossop Michaels, confirmed with Curbed NOLA that she and her business partner, Wes Michaels, are renovating the building at 1824 Sophie Wright Place as an office for the firm. The building will also include two small apartments.

In an email, Mossop said they are currently doing some stabilization work on the building, and "hope to begin construction in the next three months when approvals come through."

The building was owned by the nonprofit First Spanish American Baptist Church, who brought the property in 1989 with plans of turning it into a community center. However, the church was unable to afford the renovations or to even maintain the building.

After years of violations on the building, which was probably built in the late 1870s, the Historic Development and Landmarks Commission ruled in 2009 the owners were attempting to get rid of the building through "demolition by neglect."

The church finally sold the property for $195,000 in February.

Wayne Troyer of Studio WTA is the architect on the project, and Mossop says Beth Jacob of Clio Associates will attend to the historic preservation issues of the property.

Blighted church-owned property threatens to collapse into the street [NOLA.com]