The New Orleans Public Library’s Mid-City branch won’t be ejected from its Orleans Avenue location in February after all, though it probably will move soon, anyway.
The owner of the American Can Co. apartment building where the library is located has said it will let the branch remain beyond Jan. 31, the date it was due to vacate the space.
That’s a win for library officials, who have been hunting for a new home for the branch ever since their landlord, ACV VII, told them they would have to leave by October because a prospective tenant wanted to occupy the vacant space next door and take over the library’s space, as well.
ACV later gave the library an extension to Jan. 31 after City Councilwoman Susan Guidry highlighted residents’ desire for a Mid-City branch.
The library also had not paid its rent in a year, though ACV officials said that wasn’t the reason they were asking the library to move out. City officials said the nonpayment was due to a misunderstanding about what was required under a month-to-month lease instituted in October 2014.
The city, which pays ACV on the library’s behalf, cut a $44,760 check for the entire year on Sept. 15, two weeks after ACV asked the library to leave.
Now, the library is operating on a month-to-month lease after the deal with the new would-be tenant fell through, ACV attorney Randy Opotowsky and library system Executive Director Charles Brown said this week.
Under the new agreement, if the owners want the library to vacate at a later date, they must give it a 60-day notice, Brown said.
Opotowsky called Brown with the news on Tuesday.
Despite the extension, the library has no intention of staying put for much longer, Brown said.
City officials are already in negotiations for a new Mid-City space that Brown declined to identify. The space would need minor renovations before the branch could move in, he said.
The goal is to finalize negotiations for the space by the end of January, he added.
Follow Jessica Williams on Twitter, @jwilliamsNOLA.