New Orleans residents protest Warehouse District Cambria

A proposed Cambria hotel in New Orleans' Warehouse District is coming under fire, as a group of Warehouse District business owners and residents plan to rally at the New Orleans City Council to block the proposed eight-story property at the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Commerce streets, reports The Times-Picayune.

Fillmore Hospitality, an Ohio-based company with properties in New Orleans, is behind the $35-million project, and are seeking a waiver from the City Council to build higher than the area's 65-foot limit by 10 feet.

Opponents argue that allowing this project to break the limit would open the door for more developers to build taller buildings in one of the city's most sought-after neighborhoods.

"Where does it stop?" said C.J. Bui, president of the condo association for nearby 333 Girod St., told The Times-Picayune "The (city's) master plan was meant to be one coherent plan to give transparency, predictability to help ensure the distinct characteristics of the neighborhood are protected as well as encourage growth and development."

Tom Goodwin, Fillmore Hospitality president, said he believes the proposed design is respectful of the neighborhood while allowing for enough rooms to make the project financially feasible.

If the company gets the waiver, Goodwin said developers will begin designing the hotel with input from the Architectural Review Committee and Historic District Landmarks Commission.

The 65-foot height limit is part of an interim zoning district for the Warehouse District and Lafayette Square neighborhoods. The interim zoning district, set to be incorporated into the city's comprehensive zoning ordinance, came out of an 18-month study commissioned by the Downtown Development District.

Fillmore Hospitality's management portfolio includes the Maison Dupuy Hotel in the French Quarter and the Marriott Metairie on North Causeway Boulevard, among other properties in Florida, California and Illinois.