Adams and Reese Partner Justin Schmidt was quoted in The Times-Picayune story, “School Conversion into Condominiums Endorsed by New Orleans City Planning Commission,” published in the April 24th edition.
The story discusses New Orleans developer Jim MacPhaille’s proposal to convert a former school in the 6000 block of Perrier Street into luxury condominiums, the subject of controversy among neighbors in recent weeks, but one that won approval from the City Planning Commission after the developer made major changes to his plans. It goes next to the City Council.
MacPhaille bought the old building last year for $2.45 million. Built in 1901, it housed LaSalle Elementary School for many years. From 1973 to 2000, it was home to the nationally known New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Since 2000, it has been vacant and increasingly deteriorated.
MacPhaille, who attended LaSalle as a child, said he bought the building simply to save it from possible demolition and with no firm plans in mind. He said he originally considered converting it to 24 apartments or later 18 condos, but reduced the number of units because of neighbors’ concerns about excessive density. The final plans call for creating 12 two- and three-bedroom luxury condos and one smaller unit for guests of the residents. The 40,300-square-foot building will be expanded to 44,700 square feet, according to the latest calculations by the project's architects. There will be 31 off-street parking spaces.
In an April 17 letter, HDLC Executive Director Elliott Perkins said the latest plans for the balconies, dormers and other additions are “historically appropriate, aesthetically pleasing and more reflective and respective of the immediately adjacent architecture.”
Schmidt, who serves as MacPhaille’s attorney, said the balconies are necessary to make the condos, expected to sell for $1 million and up, attractive to upper-income buyers. He said smaller and cheaper condos would more likely be bought by investors who would rent them to students or other transient tenants the neighborhood would find objectionable.
At Adams and Reese, Schmidt serves on the Real Estate team where he practices with a focus in the area of land use and zoning. This includes representing companies and individuals in land use permitting, commercial transactions, financing, real estate developments and landlord/tenant negotiations.
Adams and Reese is a multidisciplinary law firm with offices strategically located throughout the southern United States and Washington, DC. American Lawyer includes Adams and Reese on its distinguished list of the nation's top law firms – “The Am Law 200.” The National Law Journal also includes the firm on the "NLJ 250" list of the nation's largest law firms.