Revision Endorsed by Planning Commission

April 12, 2004

Nick Marinello
Phone: (504) 865-5714

The fact that Tulane's plan to develop a satellite campus at the foot of Broadway was endorsed by the City Planning Commission last month is a testament to the university's effort to work with and learn from city agencies and concerned neighbors, says Anne Banos, vice president and chief of staff.

tusquare"I think we have learned how helpful the city can be and how much partnership there can be with the city," says Banos, who has led community outreach for the project. "We also are continuing to learn effective ways to communicate with concerned neighbors."

On March 9, Tulane presented a revised version of its $150 million project to the City Planning Commission.

The revisions were a response to planning commission staff provisos and input from neighbors, says Banos. Tulane purchased half of the Uptown Square retail site in 2001, gaining 5.9 acres of parking lots and mostly empty retail buildings. On Dec. 22, 2003, the master land-use plan for the renamed "Tulane University Square" was filed with the City Planning Commission.

Administrators brought the plan to a public meeting of the City Planning Commission on Jan. 27, when the commission deferred a vote on the plan until March 9, allowing Tulane to respond to a report drafted by city planning staffers that recommended a "modified approval" subject to 13 provisos.

Revisions to the plan, which were shared with neighborhood leadership representatives on March 4, should improve the development's visual aesthetics as well as its impact on parking and traffic. "We've gotten positive feedback on the changes we made," says Banos. Those changes include:

  • moving the 13-story married and graduate student apartments toward Leake Avenue and away from residences; 
  • reconfiguring the administration building so that the portion closest to Broadway is two stories high (the building steps up to five stories at a distance of 60 feet from Broadway); 
  • doubling the number of surface parking places to 40; 
  • creating an access lane between the administrative building and parking garage that should improve traffic circulation on site and keep additional traffic out of the surrounding neighborhood; 
  • providing access to the nursery school/childcare center from Pine Street, minimizing traffic on Prytania Street.

The next step for administrators is to present the plan to the City Council, which will make the final decision on the project. That hearing is set for April 15. If the City Council approves the plan, construction on the married and graduate student apartments could begin in late 2005, says Banos.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000