NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A developer who wants to put up a hotel in the Faubourg Marigny said he is working on revisions to the design. Residents said the hotel proposed for Elysian Fields Avenue at Decature Street must more closely match the neighborhood's character.
"It's an eye-sore and it attracts a lot of bad elements to this neighborhood," resident Silva Fazzio said of the vacant graffiti-filled building now on the lot.
Architect Francisco Alecha showed FOX 8 News a colorful rendering of the proposed hotel.
"The entrance is here ah facing Elysian fields," he said.
He has worth months to hone the design.
"The lot is about 36,000 sq feet and the building itself will be about 74,000, it meets all the zoning requirements, so there will be no variances to be asked for," said Alecha.
What is proposed is a four-story Hampton Inn with 119 rooms that would not tower over near-by buildings.
"It'll be an improvement to the neighborhood I guess, it's better than a vacant lot," Fazzio said of the project.
Still the neighborhood is not ready to sign-off on the project, just yet.
"It's a very big project going in at their intersection," said Allen Johnson, President of the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association.
He said the hotel has to compliment the neighborhood's character.
"We're an old neighborhood and to have something that doesn't look like it fits, it needs to look historic, it needs to look like not something that you would find in the suburbs," Johnson.
"That place better have its own parking… That's the biggest problem around here is parking and if they ain't got a big parking lot for their own place then there's going to be trouble," said resident Bruce Travis.
The architect says about 60 parking spaces are planned as part of the project and he doesn't believe many of the hotel's patrons will be bringing cars, anyway.
"The parking is set to the rear of the building," said Alecha.
And developer Amit Patel said if parking needs exceed the hotel's lot they would contract with other lots in the area for space and offer hotel guests valet parking as not to burden the neighborhood's street.
Johnson said residents also want the hotel to offer services they can benefit from.
"Maybe something like a drycleaner," he said.
As the developer and architect work on design revisions like adding balconies and shutters for the building residents insist that new developments must compliment the neighborhood's character.
"I think the Marigny needs to be what it is, the Marigny is a historic district, we're a very important part of the history of New Orleans," said Johnson.
The project will eventually go before the Historic District Landmarks Commission and the City Planning Commission.