Oscar Shoenfelt III, a local attorney, wants to rezone a lot on Perkins Road in hopes of jumpstarting an arts district. Shoenfelt says he has spent more than $400,000 buying and fixing up a home at the corner of Perkins and Lydia Avenue and wants to turn it into a co-op gallery and residence for visiting artists. “There are a lot of artists in this neighborhood,” says Shoenfelt, a painter and potter. He originally bought the home with plans to remodel it for his father, who was also a painter and potter, but his father died a few weeks ago.
Shoenfelt says he wants to have art shows and receptions at the property, and is looking to tie in with LSU and some of the businesses around the Perkins Road overpass. “Maybe we could have a reception there and people could walk down to Chelsea’s Café,” he says. The rezoning, which would switch the property from residential to neighborhood office, is set to go before the Planning Commission on March 16. Shoenfelt, who is already leasing property to local artist Saliha Staib, says if he gets the zoning approval the co-op should open in about six months.—Timothy Boone