I've always wondered why so many "business leaders" in New Orleans want to compare this city's growth and development with ideas that "work" in Houston and Atlanta. I've always thought that NOLA would do far better to investigate ideas that make Athens and Savannah work.
Case in point is the new "parking garage" the city of Athens is building at the corner of Lumpkin and Washington Streets downtown. Take a look and see if you can tell me what part of this building is a bad idea.
For refrence, this building will occupy a space that has been a combination of flat, asphalt parking lots (in varying states of repair) and a small brick Bank of America drive-thru stall. There was an old brick building on the lot years ago, but it was taken due to its state of disrepair.
Know any parts of New Orleans that fit that description?
The new building's plan surrounds the historic Georgia Theatre, and develops the block to the east* of the historic Morton Theatre.
The plan adds needed parking to an area of downtown (and the parking situation in downtown Athens is far more business and resident friendly than NOLA's current American Sector/CBD parking junta), with spaces for retail, offices and a public art gallery (!?!) Lastly, it should complement - with the street level retail spaces - the walkability of the Lumpkin-Washinton Street corner.
And the building should look like a building instead of a parking deck. Go see the visuals.
That sounds like triple-win to me.
* - The original post erroneously labeled the development to the west of the Morton, when the Morton is west of the development. Thanks to Sprout for calling me out publicly, and Meredith for calling me out privately.