NEW ORLEANS -- A new hotel set to be built in the Bywater on St. Claude has some residents outraged.
They say the proposed property is forcing them to move and relocate. Project planners say the hotel, called The Sun Yard, is utilizing existing structures in an already mixed use area.
The development will feature a pool and a restaurant. The restaurant will go in a now abandoned building and the 37 hotel rooms will go in four different homes, which were previously long term rentals.
“It’s not a monolithic structure, it’s a cluster of buildings that will be connected with a lot of open air green spaces,” The Sun Yard spokesperson Todd Ragusa said.
Several locals spoke off camera, saying one of the buildings in question has been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina and they’re excited to see a restaurant go into the space. Another local acknowledged the job opportunities a new hotel would bring.
However, the more vocal residents were quick to voice their displeasure.
“The Sun Yard sucks,” one woman screamed as she walked by the property.
People living near the future hotel site are not excited about having a 37 room hotel in their backyards. Other locals were forced to move out of their long term rental homes after the properties were purchased.
“I used to live here,” former resident Maggie Windler said, pointing out one of the homes. “It kinda sucks it kicked out a lot of locals. There are 5 houses here and all of us were asked to vacate the premises."
The architect says the new hotel and restaurant will employ locals.
"We're providing an employment base for 30 people so we see it as a huge plus for the neighborhood,” Jason Richards said.
Residents say they don't need that next door.
"There's plenty of hotels,” Windler said. “Let it be a neighborhood still, that's the beauty of it."
There will be an open house for the hotel Friday afternoon from 3 p.m.- 6 p.m. at 3000 St. Claude Avenue.
There is also a Bywater Neighborhood Association meeting about the hotel Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Holy Angels.