By Claire Byun
Editor’s note: This story was corrected to say the bar will be built new, not undergo renovations as previously stated.
Developers are hoping to gain approval to permit a bar along the Lafitte Greenway Corridor.
Sidney Torres IV, New Orleans entrepreneur who founded the venture capital firm IV Capital, submitted a request through agents to the City Planning Commission to build a bar on the Greenway Corridor. The bar – located at 501 N. Genois St. – would be bounded by N. Clark, St. Louis and Toulouse streets.
The land is own by Torres but is being leased to local developers, said Billy Good, of Maloney Good Realty.
The site is currently zoned as MU-1 Medium Intensity Mixed-Use district and the Greenway Corridor Design Overlay, so the bar would not need to be rezoned.
The bar would have “adequate” vehicle parking and a substantial number of bike parking spots, plus a permeable outdoor patio – though live music is not planned for the venue. Site plans submitted to the city show space for an indoor bar and small mezzanine.
The bar has to be built new from the ground up, Good said, and officials are waiting for approval from the CPC before jumpstarting any construction.
Developers sent letters and/or emails to 31 neighbors inviting them to two Neighborhood Participation Program meetings, which gives residents the ability to hear more about the bar and state any grievances with the proposal. Seven neighborhood associations were also invited – including Faubourg St. John, Parkview and Friends of Lafitte Greenway – and the first meeting was held in early August with 10 attendees, according to city records.
Good, Herbert Dyer and Chris Young – both developers – were on-hand at the community meetings to answer questions, documents show.
The second meeting, held in December, gathered about nine people in person and four over email, city records show. Questions on the bar’s security and parking were brought up during the meeting, and developers assured there would be “adequate” parking – if necessary, developers offered to reduce the scope of the project if more parking is needed.
There will also be substantial bicycle parking since the bar is just off the Greenway, which is “an essential element of our business plan,” developers said. There will also be a bicycle air pump station for use at the bar.
Security will be provided “if necessary,” developers said. People under 18 may also be allowed on the premises during certain operating hours “in accordance with existing law,” developers told the group.
There may also be a kitchen added later, but for now developers are planning to use food trucks on a regular basis. There are no plans for live music at the venue, developers said.
Developers also said they would canvass the neighborhood daily to pickup trash left by patrons.
While the construction date depends on obtaining a conditional use permit, developers are hoping to kickstart renovations soon with an estimated opening date of summer 2017. The City Planning Commission will hear the proposal at their March 14 meeting.