Bywater hostel proposal doesn't sit well with some residents - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Bywater hostel proposal doesn't sit well with some residents

Lot on Mazant in the Bywater where Stateside hostel is proposed. (FOX 8 Photo) Lot on Mazant in the Bywater where Stateside hostel is proposed. (FOX 8 Photo)

A proposed 185-bed hostel, called Stateside, is causing some concern for residents in the Bywater.

The hostel would take up the lot between Chartres and Royal streets on Mazant near the river, and would be about 48,000 square feet. According to a report submitted to the city, rates would likely run $30-$140 a night. The design isn’t complete, but the building would likely be about four stories tall on the river side and one story on the side that borders Royal.

The lot sits across the street from The Joint BBQ restaurant, where long lines of customers religiously wait for slow cooked meats.

Pete Breen, owner of The Joint, knows the hostel would bring in more customers, but he’s not sure it’s the right fit for the neighborhood.

“The construction project would be good for us, the tourists would be good for us, but you have to consider the neighbors,” Breen said.

Breen is concerned the size and scope of the project would overshadow the small-town residential feel so many in the Bywater have come to enjoy.

But developer Ted Kelso doesn’t see it that way. In fact, he hopes the project would create a hub of activity in the neighborhood, uniting visitors and residents.

“Stateside is all about a sense of belonging, so it's driving locals to meet our guests and to do that it's all about alleviating local needs,” Kelso said.

The plans call for a restaurant and bar as well as a coffee shop and laundromat to benefit locals.

“I think it sounds like a pretty cool idea, just the different things that they plan on having, like a laundromat, coffee shop. Half the houses I've lived in here didn't have washers or dryers,” said Whitney Raynor, who lives nearby.

“If you put big hotel projects in the middle, you'll erode the residential feel of the neighborhood and there's no getting that back,” Breen said.

Kelso thinks his project will grow on the community, despite their initial displeasure.

“I think after the next two years or so he's gonna love us. I think he's gonna appreciate what we're doing for the neighborhood. It's all about enhancing the quality of life for the neighborhood,” Kelso said.

A few blocks away from the lot at Pizza Delicious, Manager Allan Bott thinks Stateside will help share the charm of the Bywater with more people, even if it comes at a cost.

“It kind of gives people a better view of New Orleans, a neighborhood view, so it might be kind of good. I personally like it, but I know a lot of the neighborhood won't,” Bott said.

The Planning Commission deferred approval of the hostel until its next meeting. Stateside would need approval by the council before it could break ground. If it’s approved it would likely open in early 2018.

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