DID YOU KNOW? Current statistics for crimes against persons in the 8th District show that the highest percentage of those crimes occur between the hours of 7:00 pm and 7:00 am. A number of studies in both the U.S. and U.K. support facts that crime is significantly reduced when exterior building lighting is improved.
WHAT IS CPTED? CRIME PREVENTION THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN looks at the physical design of the entire neighborhood – its layout, lighting, building and maintenance, to identify elements that may have the potential to attract crime. Many cities, including Seattle and Houston, have incorporated CPTED principles into their crime prevention planning. At a recent NOPD 8th District public meeting, Commander Jeffrey Walls asked attendees to light their exterior environment, because lighting does help deter crime.
CAN YOU HELP IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY IN YOUR BLOCK? Recent French Quarter building assessments revealed there are many buildings with no exterior lighting. Even more surprising were the number of buildings with existing fixtures that were either not turned on, or had burnt out bulbs. Our city is struggling to find budget to fix street lights, so we can help ourselves, our neighbors and NOPD by lighting our own properties.
CAN WE HELP? We understand there may be many reasons lights are not turned on or installed. We can provide information on cost savings and reduced maintenance, timers and VCC Guidelines. Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Produced by French Quarter Management District, Security Task Force
The Royal Cosmopolitan Hotel/Condo development, 121 Royal Street, should we support or not support this project.
VOTING IS CLOSED
For: I am in support of restoring the old hotel to its original splendor, with the addition of a twenty-six story tower in the vacant plot behind the hotel. With the hotel’s façade and interior being donated to the HDLC to insure it will be preserved for future generations.
Against: I do not support this project. I feel it is inappropriate for this location.
The View from Here
By Linda Malin
Vice President, French Quarter Advocates
French Quarter Advocates (FQA) is an organization established to listen to the views of every person with an interest in the French Quarter, including residents, businesses and people who just love the Quarter. FQA, as the name implies, will be advocating for all concerned and involved citizens and groups. A founding FQA principle is to work together with our governing entities, including the French Quarter Management District (FQMD), a political subdivision of the state of Louisiana with many of the same concerns and objectives as the FQA.
As Vice President of FQA and Chairman of FQMD’s Enforcement Committee, I see daily the strength that comes from FQA advocating the views and preferences of its membership to FQMD, the City and other organizations. FQA connects FQMD to concerns and opinions from the grass roots of the Quarter, and FQMD has the official standing to address those concerns and opinions.
That being the case, it is especially important that FQA members continue to communicate directly and frequently with the FQA Board and membership to let them know your concerns and opinions through the interactive FQA website. The website is fully operational but still being more extensively developed, and the most effective way to maximize its benefits is through active use.
Enforcement of Code regulations in the French Quarter, the area in which I am most involved, is an excellent example of how FQA and FQMD can effectively work together. From conversations with FQA members, the Board can develop a list of Code provisions that residents feel are most important to their quality of life and in turn communicate these concerns to FQMD’s Enforcement Committee. The input from FQA is valuable to FQMD Enforcement Committee in developing recommendations to the FQMD Board of Commissioners upon which they can act.
An immediate example of how this can work is the debate now occurring as to how best to spend the funds available to the French Quarter from the self-imposed hotel levy approved by the Louisiana Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 242. Approximately $2.5 million a year, for the first time in the history of the French Quarter, is dedicated for improvements to the French Quarter. FQMD supported the passage of Senate Bill 242 as did many of the founders and current members of FQA.
Currently, one proposed use of the newly available funds is to recruit people to patrol the French Quarter with the authority to issue citations for Code violations. FQA members should make their opinions on this subject known through the FQA website and we will then discuss our position with the FQMD for their support of the best use of the funds.
FQMD is on record saying that all funds should not be used for the NOLA patrol, but previously requested that the funds be used for improvement in five areas:
- Security/Public Safety
- Code Enforcement
It is with the participation of all our members that we will create the presence needed for our voice to be heard and become effective. Therefore, to remain true to our founding principles of unanimity we need your opinion. It is vital that we communicate with FQMD to assure that our goals and opinions can be effective for the good of the French Quarter. Help determine the prosperity of our neighborhood by expressing your views on how to devote the funds from Senate Bill 242.
Dear Members and Friends,
It’s been a hot summer and a busy one! French Quarter Advocates is growing and the support from every area of the Quarter has been incredible. We have several irons in the fire and will be starting even more projects this fall.
Our “Greet and Meet” with New Orleans City Councilperson Nadine Ramsey was a huge success! Nearly 200 people showed up to listen to Nadine’s comments about security and her plans for the 3rd district which includes the French Quarter, the CBD and Algiers. Bob Simms with the French Quarter Management District (FQMD) was asked to enlighten us on the progress with the Pay Security Program. We want to thank the Kahn family for donating the great food and Kim Rosenberg for supplying the wine! This social and informational event was a great opportunity for members to get to know each other. If you could not make it, don’t miss the next one.
Café Habana has been a hot topic with several of the neighborhood groups. It was our first opportunity to test the polling component of our new website, www.fqanola.org, and the members responded in big numbers. FQA has proved that an organization can reach out to all its members to obtain a real feel for neighborhood opinion, not just voicing the thoughts of only a few! Overwhelmingly the FQA membership supported Café Habana. Sean Meehan met with me and discussed his revised plans for the corner of Rampart and Esplanade. Despite the many rumors being spread around the Quarter, Sean has scaled the project back considerably from his original concept as “Habana Outpost”. Café Habana was granted conceptual approval by the VCC after carefully reviewing the new plans. What an asset it will be to the French Quarter to transform that dilapidated, graffiti covered, and poorly lit corner into a vibrant, income producing restaurant that will, no doubt, become another “neighborhood” gathering spot.
And to paraphrase the immortal words of former Mayor Vic Schiro, don’t believe any rumors unless you hear them from us. FQA will be dealing in fact on all the issues, not innuendo. We will approach every issue not with rumor and subterfuge but with solid information, and then we will ask you what you, our members, think we should do.
To show support for our guys in blue, FQA is planning to deliver pizzas to the NOPD 8th District Police Station. It only takes a kind gesture to let these professional law enforcement officers know they are appreciated for all of their hard work performed under challenging working conditions. Whenever you see an NOPD officer or State Trooper during your travels through the Quarter tell them “Thank You”!
I have saved the best for last! October 25th is our first annual fundraiser and it is going to be fantastic! We are transforming Mother Cabrini’s house at 817 St. Philip Street into an Italian Street Festival. The Committee has been working very hard and the plans for a great evening are coming together but we can still use your help. Please volunteer in any capacity you can to help make this event the most enjoyable the Quarter has ever seen. World renowned Soprano and FQA member, Robin Follman, will regale our group with a selection of arias perfect for the setting and the circumstance. After dinner the “Annie Girl” band will play favorite tunes to dance by. Once again, I ask for volunteers!!! Please contact me!
President, French Quarter Advocates
The Habana Outpost plan, for the corner of Esplanade and N. Rampart, has been reworked by the developer to Habana Café, with a major portion of the entertainment component deleted from the original proposal. Habana Café will be primarily a casual dining establishment.
While you are stating your opinion to the poll, please check out the results of the previous poll where a majority of responders were either lukewarm towards, or adamantly opposed to, Mayor Landrieu’s proposal to establish a New Orleans Patrol group of uniformed, unarmed “officers” assigned to the French Quarter, the CBD and the Marigny.
Click on an image below for an expanded view.
Bryan K. Drude
July 22, 2016
Dear FQA members and Friends,
As most of you already realize, the French Quarter Advocates, is an organization that truly believes to best represent the French Quarter you have to include everyone! The French Quarter is made up of residential, commercial, and tourism. There are those, who believe, we are pro-business! And they are correct! In order for the French Quarter to be a living, working, and sustainable neighborhood we have to be “Pro-Business, Pro-Residential, and Pro-Tourism. One cannot survive without the other! The French Quarter Advocates’ ability to recognize this fact has given us much creditability with our City Council, the Mayor’s Office, and full/part time residents of the French Quarter. No matter what your political views may be, without the ability to work with our city government, we will not be effective in preserving our neighborhood and creating a safer place for us to live, work and play.
The French Quarter Advocates has become the “go to” organization for developers, new businesses, and homeowners due to the influence we are garnering with those who can approve or disapprove ventures in the French Quarter. We are perceived as the “voice of reason” and we do not judge until presented with the facts. Once again it is time for us to form a consensus about a new project that has been in the works for the last two years, “Margaritaville Cafe” being developed by the TMJ Group, Inc. Their presentation to the Board was impressive and informative and we feel it can be an asset to this mostly commercial area of the French Quarter. Please carefully review the drawings, elevations, talking points, and pictures. Unfortunately we do not have much and we must make a decision by Sunday evening so be vigilant and take a few minutes to make an inform opinion and vote on our website. fqanola.org
President-French Quarter Advocates
P.S. I will sending out another newsletter very soon about upcoming events and projects.
336 Decatur d/b/a Margaritaville
- Total Costs of Construction $7,000,000
- Total Construction Employment 100-125 temporary jobs
- Total Permanent Jobs 120-125 Total permanent jobs
- Total Annual Payroll $2,100,000 plus or minus
- Total Projected Annual Sales $8,000,000
- Total Annual Sales Tax $800,000
- Total Rentals for Annual City Lease for Balcony Air Space $13,275 annually
ROEDEL PARSONS KOCH BLACHE BALIOFF & MCCOLLISTER A LAW CORPORATION
July 20, 2016
Bryan Drude, President, email@example.com
French Quarter Advocates
Re:336 Decatur Street d/b/a Margaritaville
Thank you and French Quarter Advocates for your interest in 336 Decatur Street being developed for a Margaritaville Cafe by the TMJ Group, Inc. We sincerely appreciate your bringing this project to your members. We are seeking “Conceptual Approval” on July 26th by the ARC Committee and VCC “Conceptual Approval” on August 3rd. It is our hopes to have the support of French Quarter Advocates at both of these meetings.
Attached is the before and after concept for you review. We are seeking to demolish the existing boarded up and abandoned gas station, the dilapidated parking area in front of it, and the billboard. We will be replacing it with an attractive four story building with galleries and a rooftop loggia complimenting a courtyard. We believe this building compliments and completes the block bordered by Conti, N. Peters and Decatur, giving it a much needed finish to this important area. It will also bring life to the scene for not only Margaritaville, but also for the commercial establishments surrounding the area. In doing so, it is bringing much needed jobs and tax dollars to the City.
We have worked extensively with the staff and ARC Committee to get to this place and hope that work pays off. However, community support is imperative to insure we are able to get across the finish line. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to call. We look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely,
Vote: Margaritaville Cafe Conceptual Approval
Thanks to everyone who participated last October in the Second Line for Safety for raising funds to help the French Quarter Task Force. Robert Simms has graciously recognized our efforts to others and explained how the funds were used. Bryan Drude President-French Quarter Advocates From: Robert Simms To: Stephen Perry; Jim Oliver Subject: New FQTF vehicle hits the streets Stephen & Jim, IMG_3281 The GEM electric vehicle(EV) that Cm Walls has made available to the FQTF has been refurbished and hit the street at 7p last night: In December, the FQMD Board authorize me to bring this unused NOPD asset back to life and it will provide us with a 4th vehicle and one that can be driven in the cold and wet. The ride is a little hard on our rough streets so I will look into changing to a softer and/or bigger tire. Also need to add a siren, more LED lights and some new decals. Citizens that the officer spoke with said if looked like a UFO and they thought it was cool and took pics. Funding for the mods came from the FQ Advocates $5k donation. Using the same funding we added doors and a glass windshield to one of the Polaris’ and that’s now the cold weather vehicle of choice for the officers. I’ll work on the second EV next. Bob Dear French Quarter Advocates and Friends, We were victorious on Saturday with 78% of the registered voters overwhelmingly creating the new French Quarter Economic Development District! It took many organizations and individuals working together to make this happen and everyone deserves a full round of applause. This just goes to show you when everyone works together as one team big things can be accomplished. I want to thank everyone who showed up for the Election Day Party and showed support. We have to thank the Lucky Dog company who furnished the Famous Lucky Dog cart with all the hot dogs we could possibly eat, Steve Pettus, FQMD & Dickie Brennen Managing Partner, supplied us with two cases of wine, Court of Two Sisters supplied assorted poboys and they were delicious, Cafe Du Monde with their famous beignets and none of this would have been possible if it were not for Cheryl Teamer with the New Orleans Convention and Visitor Bureau. She obtain all the donations, volunteers, promoted the EDD to everyone walking by on the street, was host to a great evening at Tableau and did this all on her birthday!!! Great Job Cheryl! special thanks to Emily Remington with clean up detail and to Brittany Mulla for helping with donations! We look forward to getting involved in more community projects and concerns. I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween. Bryan Drude President-French Quarter Advocates Second Line for Safety I want to thank everyone who participated in our “Second Line for Safety” fundraiser on October 3rd. I am proud to say we will be giving the French Quarter Task Force a much needed check of $5,000. This would have been impossible if it wasn’t for our generous sponsors who gave of their time and money to make this happen. GW Fins gave us a very generous donation and it would only be right for us to each patronage their fine restaurant. My dear friends Carole and Robert Follman have been gracious supporters since our inception and also deserve our thanks for their large contribution. French Quarter Business Association stepped up to the plate and not only gave us a large donation but we had Brittany Mulla, Director, volunteered her time at the event to help with T-Shirt sales! That brings me to the T-Shirts, the Khan family, without hesitation, donated the full cost of making us our beautiful shirts with our logo imprinted on the front. Lucky Dogs, our famous New Orleans hot dog vendor, also stepped up and gave a sizable donation, should would have bought a bunch of hot dogs!!!! If you have any out of town guest and do not want them in your house please use the Wyndham French Quarter for all your housing needs. Did everyone notice how clean Congo Square was after our event? Not a piece of trash to be found anywhere due to generosity of Earline Torres, owner of ART Janitorial Services, her donation saved us a fortune and kept everything looking great! Our own Vice President, Kay Baxter, secured a generous donation from her law firm COSMICH SIMMONS & BROWN, PLLC, if you need any lawyer type stuff done ask Kay! If she can’t do it I bet she knows who can. As usual Robert Watters Did you notice all the napkins used for the second line parade? They were supplied by Broussard’s Restaurant, please make it a point to visit them and tell Casey thanks. Hotel Storyville is a great hotel just two blocks from the French Quarter on Esplanade. Barbara Locklear, owner, can take care of all your needs for room accommodations or having an event in her beautiful garden. Don’t let me forget to thank Mia Matassa, our secretary, for supplying all the water from Matassa’s Market. I know everyone enjoyed the great bands and DJ, I sure did! Angelo Farrell, owner of Bourbon Heat supplied the DJ and the second band to play. Without his help it would have been very tough!!! Sherman Benard Productions gave us a huge discount on all the sound and band equipment. I know you are getting tired of reading all this, but almost done. Jerry Peters, with Southern Eagle, was responsible for donating all the beer and the stage that gave our event the professional look we would never had if we had to do it on our own. Oh, I almost forgot, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop donated all the ice! Thanks Joe!!! To show our support please thank these generous donors by saying thank you and patronizing these businesses! I also want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the volunteers that helped make this possible! Also to Steve, Schulkens Communications, who helped tremendously in getting us print, television, and radio coverage. Bryan Drude President-French Quarter Advocates 504-247-6736. Dear Members and Friends, It is hard to believe but we are already over a year old, time sure flies when you are having fun. In only a year, we have solidified as an organization and garnered the respect of our City Council and Mayor’s office. Our relationship with our city government has enabled us to be included in important private meetings on issues that directly relate to the French Quarter. Our opinion is strongly valued and will be used in determining future policies that will affect our way of life in the French Quarter. We are over one hundred members strong but need to grow! Here is my challenge to you. If each and every one of you recruits one new member we can potentially double our size in a very short period of time. Our strength will come in the size or our organization. For everyone who joined last year before October it will be time to renew your membership by paying your dues of $35 for single and $60 for Household or Company. This can be done online using the form on the left of this page, or by mailing check to: French Quarter Advocates 817 St. Philip Street New Orleans, LA 70116 This year we have decided to have a fund raiser that no one will soon forget! It will be New Orleans’s largest Second Line Parade marching through the French Quarter, donating proceeds to the French Quarter Task Force. We are in the preliminary stages of organizing this function but if anyone has experience please contact me. The more the merrier! I also had the idea of donating several park benches to Cabrini Park on behalf of the French Quarter Advocates! What do you think? As we said from the beginning, let’s do positive things for the neighborhood we live and work in. Also, the matter of the hotel/condo project being developed at 121 Royal is online for a vote. (See the post below for details of the project.) I am currently gathering comments from the membership on opinions of the project and will post soon. Like a coin, there are always to sides, however the outcome of the vote both sides can respect each other’s opinion.We have a lot coming at us in the next few months: Economic Development District, Sound ordinances, fund raiser, and not to mention the numerous meetings to attend at City Council and the VCC. If you have any extra time and would like to volunteer do not hesitate to contact a board member. Thank you again for your continued support, Bryan K. Drude President-French Quarter Advocates
The Royal Cosmopolitan, A couple of weeks ago I invited the members of FQA to attend a presentation by Angelo Farrell about his Hotel/Condo project, The Royal Cosmopolitan, located in the first block of Royal Street. Many of you may not be aware but the first block between Canal and Iberville is not considered the French Quarter and is zone for high rise hotels and condos. Because of its proximity to the French Quarter, Angelo felt it was important he reach out to our organization so we could better understand his plans for the old hotel and new tower in the vacant property behind the hotel. I can tell you, I was apprehensive as were the other members who came to the meeting and we all felt it could be overwhelming in size. After carefully viewing the property and asking questions to both Angelo Farrell and his contractors the group came away with a much different opinion than what we walked in with. Angelo Farrell wants to restore the original Cosmopolitan Hotel to its former glory. We were shocked to see this magnificent old hotel built and designed by New Orleans’s famous architect Thomas Sully in such a state of decay. It was apparent this was a world class hotel in its day, with large opulent rooms with the original plaster arches still intact! The Hotel has been abandon for approximately seventy five years and the structure at the rear of the property is literally crumbling into the adjacent open lot. As preservationist this should be a dream come true! To see if restored and then have the exterior and interior donated to the Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) so it will forever remain a historical hotel is a win for everyone. As daunting as the height of the new 26 story may seem, especially from the architectural drawings it will be set back 85 feet from Royal with the hotel in front of it. Standing on Royal you will not be able to see the tower except for the very top at one point if you are standing on the river side of Royal in front of the Hotel Monteleone. The original approved height was 259 feet and now is asking for 268 feet in order to make ceilings 10’ and to make the project financially viable. This will require a height variance of 183 feet from City Council. I have attached a file that shows site lines, floor plans, traffic impact analysis and pictures. The project is supported by Canal Street business owners and others who said the Royal Cosmopolitan hotel/condo would be crucial to revitalizing the 100 block of Royal Street. It is currently an unattractive entrance to the Quarter, they said, the 100 block, which is already home to the Wyndham hotel, has long been a menacing block frequented by hustlers, drug dealers, prostitutes and thieves. Proponents also said the tower would be set so far back from any street that it would not be visible to pedestrians on immediately surrounding streets. Even from farther away, they said, the tower would be so small, occupying a 40-by-85-foot footprint, that it would not be visually oppressive. I was very appreciative that other members accompanied me to the presentation. Here are their thoughts and comments after the meeting.
“I too had serious reservations about this project until we met with Angelo & the contractor. I LOVE the idea of restoring the old hotel, but, like you, I am still a bit nervous about a 26 story building in that location. But other buildings in that same area are starting to be revitalized & having all of that going on can’t help but improve the safety and the look of that area. That area has a “burst” of grandeur only here & there – The Monteleone & Mr. B’s – having other upscale businesses in the area would be a win win. Tax money to support the police, more lights & activities would drive away the vagrants. I was impressed with the time and effort that Mr. Farrell put into making sure that all of our questions were answered & that he provided us with copies of the building plans. I am a Yes vote.” Kay Baxter
COSMICH SIMMONS & BROWN, PLLC “After visiting the project we are o.k. as it could be the stimulant to enhancing the area.” Ralph &Doris Cadow.
“I thought that this was an awful colossus when I first saw the image. However, given the set back from the street and the fact that the vertical site is less of an issue, and the restoration of the hotel which is in a state of utter disrepair, I am fine with it. I think that this block of Royal would benefit greatly from the presence of this hotel. I have lived in the Quarter since the mid-seventies. The Quarter is never going to be the kind of neighborhood that it was then. Too much has happened that cannot be reversed. That does not, however, mean that we should not be extremely vigilant with large scale developments. All in all, I think that this will have a positive impact.” Lee Ali Interior Designer, ASID
“Bryan, Thank you again for inviting me to the meet at 121 Royal St. I am happy to have had the opportunity to meet Angelo and his contractor. Both men seem quite sincere in their motivations to bring this old hotel back to its original glory. I personally do not think that the additional new 26 stories is high at all for that location especially considering the planned setting back of the new construction. It should blend nicely with the tall buildings across directly across Canal St. Yes, we’re no where near the size of NY or Chicago and we have no where near their skyline but the 432 Park Ave. in NY is 96 stories and the recent addition, One57, is 75. I’d like to think that New Orleans, in its smaller scale with as much or more diversity can continue to grow with the times, in proper fashion, while maintaining its antiquity and culture. Renovation and new construction in an old footprint is a good thing and I look forward to seeing that old hotel beautifully restored. The whole 100 block of Royal may just follow suit and clean up its act!” Douglas M. Binney Douglas Michael Gallery 841 Royal St. New Orleans, LA 70116
I welcome any comments you may have concerning this project. I can always ask Mr. Angelo Farrell to give another tour of the site if enough members show a interest in seeing it. With best regard, Bryan K. Drude President-French Quarter Advocates firstname.lastname@example.org
I am sure many of you have noticed the increase in graffiti around the French Quarter, especially by the vandal who is writing “feral” every where. If you see this young man please report to the police or use the FQ Task Force app.