The solution: Build more affordable housing, right? Nah. You'd think that, sure. But apparently the answer is build a "poshtel."
The New Orleans City Council on Thursday approved a scaled-back version of an upscale 185-bed hostel and boutique hotel proposed for a stretch of vacant land along the Mississippi River in Bywater.To most of us, that seems a little counter-intuitive. But Stacy Head is listening to a different "drumbeat" than we are.
Plans for the $16 million project — bordered by Royal, Mazant, Chartres and Bartholomew streets — call for a mix of shared hostel-style rooms and private rooms, as well as a restaurant, coffee shop, laundromat, bar, pool and parking lot.
The project — dubbed “Stateside” — has drawn the ire of many neighbors since it was proposed late last year.
The so-called “poshtel” concept — which has sprung up in major cities like Chicago and Miami — merges the potential thriftiness and social aspects of a hostel with the modern amenities of a boutique hotel.
Following the Planning Commission’s unanimous rejection, Kelso scaled back the project from 48,000 to 32,000 square feet and switched New Orleans-based architectural firms, from Eskew+Dumez+Ripple to studioWTA.In Stacy Head's world, the people are clamoring to be booted from their homes in favor of tourists. Weird, I know. but at least she admits that is her specific policy goal.
He said the revamped plans were “brought into scale with the neighborhood” and the project “has been redesigned to have a negligible auditory impact on neighbors.”
Council members who supported the project Thursday called it a tough decision to balance some neighbors’ opposition with the prospect of padding the city’s tax revenues, creating new jobs and redeveloping a vacant lot.
“There’s been a consistent drumbeat of requests to move tourists into other neighborhoods than the French Quarter and the CBD,” Council President Stacy Head said. “That is what this does.”