The proposed use is allowed with a conditional use application.
The conditional use application before the New Orleans City Council claims that this is a request for an indoor amusement facility with a standard restaurant, bar, and live entertainment (secondary use) components. However, a review of the definitions in the New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (“CZO”) at Section 26.6 suggests otherwise. The proposed use more closely follows the definition of a live performance venue than an indoor amusement facility because over 8000 sf of the 13,000 sf building will be used for the theatrical performance that will be closed to all except ticketed customers at during a show. A live performance venue is not a permitted use in the HU-MU zoning district. Below are the applicable definitions from the CZO:
The shows at the Hotbed Music Hall are only for 250 people.
The promoter of the Fallen Saint states that they are only going to sell 250 tickets per show. There is nothing that prohibits them from selling more. Further, the developers have said there will be other live music shows that have nothing to do with The Fallen Saint. Friends of the promoters estimate more than 40 music shows a week.
The City of New Orleans has adopted the International Fire Code (IFC). According to Section 1004.1.2 of the IFC: “For areas without fixed seating, the occupant load shall be not less than that number determined by dividing the floor area under consideration by the occupant load factor assigned to the function of the space as set forth in Table 1004.1.2.” Table 1004.1.2 states that the occupancy load of an assembly without fixed seats and standing space is “5 net”. The “theatre spaces” on the ground floor total 8335 SF, and another 2183 SF is located on the mezzanine, for a total of 10,518 SF of theater space. Using the IFC occupancy load calculation, the venue could hold 2,103 people in just the theater space, exclusive of the front bar and restaurant area. Based upon the limited means of egress under IFC Section 1006, that number reduces to approximately 1,000 people. With buildouts, a conservative capacity of 800 people is attainable.
The café will be open for lunch and the restaurant will offer dinner and late night small plates. The maximum hours will be 11am to 2am. It will not be open 24 hours.
The promoter states that the café and restaurant will only be open from 11 am to 2 am. The promoter mentions nothing about the bar with live entertainment adjacent to the restaurant. The CZO does not have mandatory closing hours in the HU-MU zoning district for bars, and the suggested hours of operation conflict with the CZO’s maximum hours of operation for a restaurant, as outlined in Table 20-2 therein (click below to enlarge):
There is not a full service restaurant for blocks on this stretch of Magazine nor is it an area overwhelmed by bars. Every bar requires a Conditional Use and will go through the same City Planning process, which takes the impact and compatibility of the surrounding area into account.
The claim originates from the property owners. The area has a number of bars and restaurants available to service the area. Here are the distances to a few examples:
A new bar will require a conditional use permit, but a restaurant is a permitted use, and does not require any special use consideration in the HU-MU zoning district.
This historic renovation of an existing warehouse shows how a building can be adapted from an industrial use to one that activates the block and provides amenities and entertainment for the neighborhood; something that has support from the residential neighbors on the block and those that walk through this area to and from their homes. This is a transitional and multi-use block from the Warehouse to upper Magazine. City Planning deems the use consistent with Master Plan and CZO for a historic urban mixed use district.
This is a subjective statement by the property owners. The proposed use does not have the universal support of the residential neighbors.
Clearly, the purpose of the HU-MU zoning district is for small retail and personal services establishments that work in harmony with the residences in the area. Entertainment attracting patrons from elsewhere in the City is not compatible with the HU-MU use, because it is not “pedestrian-oriented”.
The City Planning Commission did deem the proposal consistent with the Master Plan’s designation of this area as “Mixed-Use Medium Density”. The reasoning was that this use would create a neighborhood center to enhance walkability with proximity to transit. In other words, the future land use contemplates that patrons would either walk or take public transit to this venue. While a novel goal, common sense tells us that the patrons are not going to be from a walkable distance, nor take public transit to get to the venue.
The inflammatory link that was shared was regarding “Sleep No More”, a show that the Proximity partners were not involved with in any way. This issue has no relevance to Proximity Entertainment or “The Fallen Saint”.
Which conflicts with this Claim: Proximity Partners were never producers of “Sleep No More”. Proximity partner, Jennie Willink, oversaw the construction of a 5,000 sf restaurant and performance space in the 100,000 square foot McKittrick Hotel, the same facility that houses “Sleep No More”.
First Claim is False, as confirmed by Second Claim.
This is a statement from the promoters. The reference to “Sleep No More” came from promotional materials supplied by Proximity Entertainment, the entity who is claiming to manage this project. Jennie Willink’s webpage (https://www.jenniewillink.com/clients/) confirms that she was involved with “Sleep No More” -- she claims that she “oversaw development & buildout of restaurant/performance venue at The McKittrick Hotel (home of “Sleep No More” NYC).
Proximity partner, Jennie Willink, DID produce the Drama Desk Award winning show “Queen of the Night”. It was neither high decibel nor in a casino as noted on the website.
This is a statement from the promoters. Proximity is known as producers of high decibel casino shows like Queen of the Night.
The Fallen Saint intends to hire locally 100% and will offer competitive wages to full and part time employees. We have been working with local agencies to ensure our employees are well taken care of. Performers will not be “working for tips”.
This is a statement from the promoters. At the Neighborhood Participation Program meeting, the promoters said that they would “aim to hit 100% local hiring”. (Page 2 of NPP Report attached to CUP Application) Whatever their current intentions are there is no requirement or guarantee to support any of these claims. We question this statement because this has not been made a fact issue by opponents of the venue.
The concept is novel. Instead of an audience sitting in their seats for a multiple act theatre performance, each of the sets are located in separate rooms and the audience is encouraged to get up and out of their seats to explore and experience. The team has been and continues to be committed to a transparent explanation.
This is a statement from the promoters. Their stated purpose, if true, is only as reliable as the success of their novel concept. If it is too novel to be commercially viable, economic propriety will require the promoters to use the facility for whatever purpose it is approved for, which includes live entertainment. There is currently no restriction against amplified music.
Traffic impact is studied by City Planning and parking space requirements are determined by the City. This proviso will be met. In addition, Proximity has a supplemental parking plan to account for parking demand and provide other spaces and services such as valet.
This is a statement by the property owners and promoters. Parking is already an issue. There is no traffic impact “study” performed by City Planning Commission. Its staff relies upon experience and judgment to approximate traffic impact.
There has never been a parking plan provided despite repeated concerns by neighbors. The neighbors commissioned their own parking analysis, which shows significant concerns regarding the availability for parking in this area.
Arrival and departure of guests will be staggered with differing entry and exit times. A security and operations plan is required but is something the team outlined in the very beginning and has extensive experience with.
Stated but not supported or required.
This is a statement by the promoters. While the arrival of patrons is staggered in all theater-like venues with performance times, the departure time is typically uniform as most people typically leave the venue at the conclusion of the show. There is no way to confirm or enforce this claim.