Image of the Publiq House Bar and Venue on Freret Street via Google Maps.
Developers Green Coast Enterprises and Neighborhood Housing Services presented plans to neighbors last week to convert the former Freret Street bar and music venue Publiq House into a neighborhood grocery store, together with new condos to be built over the existing parking lot, according to our friends at Uptown Messenger.
The plans call for the new 10,000 square foot grocery to take up the first floor of the Publiq House building at 4528 Freret. The second floor will house offices for Neighborhood Housing and other nonprofits. A new building will be constructed over the existing parking lot, which will contain 18 or 24 smaller condo units. About a third would be affordable units. 18 units are permitted as of right, 24 would require a zoning change. The developers are targeting pricing of all units below $400,000.
Green Coast and Neighborhood Housing Services see the project as a potential model for condominium and first time homebuyer affordability. The developers told Canal Street Beat that insurance and energy are the two biggest costs for condo owners after the initial purchase. To bring those costs down, they are adding solar panels that will supply power for both buildings, along with other insurance and energy cost-save methods. They argue that by lowering these costs they are creating more affordability, which cost-savings get passed on to the buyers. In addition, a third of the units will be reserved for residents making 80% of the area median income.
The lack of parking and affordability of groceries seemed to be the hot button issues expressed by neighbors.
The architect is Nick Marshall.