Former NOCCA Building to Become Luxury Condo Property

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor Plans to convert the former New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) building into a luxury multifamily project has been unanimously approved by the New Orleans City Council, reported The Time-Picayune. Developer Jim MacPhaille purchased the former school in April 2011 from the Orleans Parish School Board for $2.5 million, [...]

Plans to convert the former New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) building into a luxury multifamily project has been unanimously approved by the New Orleans City Council, reported The Time-Picayune.

Developer Jim MacPhaille purchased the former school in April 2011 from the Orleans Parish School Board for $2.5 million, outbidding would-be buyers such as a private school and paying $1 million more than the appraised value of the asset. MacPhaille, who is a seasoned developer, especially in the New Orleans area, initially envisioned redeveloping  and expanding the building into 24 apartments, then 18 condos, but neighbors repeatedly expressed concern, and their ability to shut down the project made MacPhaille revise plans.

The final, approved plans call for expanding the property from 40,300 square feet to 44,700 square feet and creating 31 off-street parking spaces. The building will be divided into 12 two- and three-bedroom condos and a smaller unit for future residents’ guests. MacPhille will also build two single-family homes on the property, behind the main school building, while miscellaneous additions are to be moved to an interior courtyard. Initially, plans called for wraparound porches, but those were eliminated in favor of smaller individual balconies due to neighbors’ concerns, while the pool and play area have been moved from the rear of the building to the corner of Perrier and Webster streets out of the same considerations.

Construction and renovation work are expected to take approximately18 months and $6 million to $7 million, not including the single-family homes. When finished, the condos are expected to list for prices starting at $1 million.

Located at 6048 Perrier St. in Uptown, a mainly upscale neighborhood, the building was erected in 1901 and expanded in 1926, then left to deteriorate. In 1973, NOCCA moved in and occupied it until 2000. After NOCCA moved out of the Italianate-style property, blight took over to the extent that in 2009 the Louisiana Landmarks Society placed it on New Orleans’ Nine Most Endangered Sites list.

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Photo credit: Infrogmation via Wikimedia Commons