BAY ST. LOUIS New Orleans developer Jim MacPhaille says it’s too early to say what the vintage Second Street Elementary School will become when he takes ownership in early August.
Based on conversations with neighbors and city officials, he guesses the property likely will be turned into a hotel or a condo hotel. With offices and shops and a theater. Maybe a fine dining restaurant.
But before anything is decided, he’s got to make sure the neighbors and the city are on board with the plans.
“Every time I’m in town I’m asking people, what would you like to see? Nobody says apartments. They say condos or a hotel.”
The whole process of restoring the building will take 12 to 18 months. He’s basing the timeline on his ongoing restoration of an old school building in New Orleans.
“It’s so early in the game,” MacPhaille said Monday. “We’ll come up with some scenarios and present them to the neighbors and the powers that be and see what everybody likes.”
One consideration that’s not on the table is tearing the historic building down.
“There’s nothing wrong with it,” he said. “It’s bullet proof. I never even thought about it.”