This week, MCNO Board voted to accept the recommendations of the Mid-City Market Committee. The Mid-City Market Committee is made up of MCNO Board members and residents who expressed interest in the negotiation and planning process regarding the Mid-City Market development on Carrollton between Bienville and St. Louis Streets.
MCNO’s formal position will play a large role in the future negotiations with the developer as MCNO advocates for priority principles that were recommended by residents and business owners of Mid-City. These principles are listed below as Absolutes, items that are of highest priority, and Preferred, items that MCNO will suggest.
1. The Mid-City Market must accord Greenway users equal respect with vehicular visitors. The most fundamental expression of this respect is that there will be NO crossing of the Greenway at St. Louis Street to enter the market. MCNO is advocating with the City of New Orleans to restrict St. Louis access and is polling the businesses along St. Louis to determine how far it can be restricted.
2. The design must reflect the industrial history of the site and the urban ambiance of Mid-City. The current design is unacceptably suburban. Facade treatments on the renovated 301 N. Carrollton, the new Pei Wei building, the two new retail buildings, and the Winn-Dixie must be consistent with one another.
- Facade materials will be split-face CMU (rock-textured concrete block), corrugated metal, along with ample glass for display and other windows. Brick is an alternate option, but only with the approval of MCNO.
- Functional awnings must be used to provide shade for visitors rather than the faux awnings currently pictured. Preferred material for awnings is metal either hung from anchor wires or supported by simple wooden trusses. Windows are required above awnings.
- There will be no faux towers or other vertical treatments extending above the roofline. Parapets are acceptable provided they are simple and consistent in height across the entire structure.
- Windows or other openings, whether real or faux, will be used to break up the facade along all blank walls.
3. Parking must not be more than is required. MCNO will categorically oppose any variance requests for parking that exceeds the maximum allowable per zoning code for big-box development.
4. Delivery trucks must travel only down Carrollton from the direction of I-10 and then onto Conti for final approach.
5. Stirling will provide bike parking for 100 bicycles. The row of parking in front of Winn-Dixie that abuts the greenway shall be removed and used for bike parking. Some form of decorative treatment will be use to screen the parking lot from the view of the Greenway.
6. Stirling will give equal consideration to local and national tenants.
7. Stirling will use functional shade trees in its landscaping plan for the parking lot. Bald Cypress is preferred. Also, Stirling shall use at least 50% native Louisiana plants in its landscape plan.
1. St. Louis will not be a continuous vehicular throughway, but rather will start and stop, existing as a street only when absolutely necessary, and end before the last two blocks of Carrollton. MCNO also prefers (and I discovered today has District A Council support for) no left turns off Carrollton onto St. Louis. (We are discussing this with the City but want to make Stirling aware.)
2. Stirling will commit to using the lot behind Massey’s for retail and community uses on a schedule to be contracted in writing with MCNO. Any vehicle parking allowed there will be either to service the activities occurring on this lot or as part of the activities themselves (e.g. vendors for an artists market). Note that this is a preferred location for bicycle parking. MCNO will consider a portion of this lot to be set aside for AFVs, as well. Paving, if any, will be a permeable material conducive to foot traffic. Stirling will consider erecting a permanent roofed structure over the majority of the lot.
3. Stirling will provide at least 25 covered or indoor bike parking spaces adjacent to the greenway and host a BikeStation.
4. Stirling will build a covered structure for bike parking and pedestrians along the front of Carrollton to obscure the parking lot at 301 N. Carrollton.
5. Cars will be prohibited from driving past the point where the pedestrian walkway travels from Carrollton to the Winn-Dixie. Only trucks making deliveries during specified hours will be allowed to access this drive, and such access shall end at the loading dock behind the building closest to the greenway.
6. The awnings used on the smaller retail buildings will wrap the Winn-Dixie, preferably on all four sides.
7. The corners of the retail buildings will either be rounded or have an angled entrance to create the sense of an historic corner store.
8. Stirling will actively solicit local businesses (and not just local franchisees) and will give highly qualified local merchants the same price per square foot as smaller national retailers.
MCNO commits that it will work with the City to see what incentives might be available to help local retainers achieve parity with the national chains, in terms of rent expense, for the center. MCNO representatives will be meeting with Stirling Properties, the developer, to discuss these principles on Thursday, June 23, 2011. Updates will be forth coming.