By: Robin Shannon, Managing Editor August 24, 2015
A project that would bring a new Virgin Hotel property to a downtown surface parking lot a block from Poydras Street has been granted approval by the New Orleans City Council.
The council last Thursday voted 5-1 to approve development of the 14-story, 148-foot hotel at the corner of Baronne and Lafayette Streets. The decision overrides a previous recommendation by the City Planning Commission, which rejected the project on grounds that it did not align with an interim zoning district in that neighborhood that limits buildings to 125 feet and 10 stories.
Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who represents the neighborhood where the hotel is planned, said at the meeting that part of the reason why she was moving forward with the Planning Commission override was to spur further economic growth. She said the project adds another hotel flag that hasn’t previously existed in the city – a sign that the New Orleans hospitality landscape continues to move forward.
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