The three groups hoping to gain control of the former site of New Orleans' World Trade Center building are presenting their cases to the deciding panel right this instant! Rumors of the developers teaming up don't seem to be true, according to these recently-released submissions. The biggest shake-up comes from Tricentennial Consortium, a group of local "tourism officials" who wanted to demo the building and replace it with an "iconic structure." The "Save The WTC" signs and bumper stickers around town are just a small taste of the opposition they've received. The Advocate reports that the group now says they are "willing to leave the building." Stay tuned for more details!
The fate of the vacant, city-owned building at the foot of Canal Street has been one of New Orleans' hottest topics for months now. Three developers presented their plans and a five-member panel is currently hearing them out. The winner will advance to the next round with the New Orleans Building Corp.
· Gatehouse Capitol Corp. wants to turn the space into a W Hotel with luxury apartments and a huge ferris wheel on the riverfront. Last week they were asked to supply proof that W Hotel wants to move in (they did) and financial statements from their backers (they did that, too).
· James H. Burch, LLC also wants to develop the site into a hotel (it's Valencia, in case you missed it) with luxury apartments, plus retail space and offices. Burch has teamed up with local musicians Kermit Ruffins and Danny O'Flaherty to announce music club plans with their names attached. He also has plans for an observation deck and an "Eyes On The World" showcase of cultures from around the world. He provided the requested landscape and building plans, along with financial statements. Burch also plans to donate $500,000 to restore the Canal Street-Algiers Point ferry and turn it into a "first-class attraction." He says he would also like to expand the ferry hours, which were recently slashed due to funding issues.
· Until yesterday, the Tricentennial Consortium's only plan called for demolition, a public park along the river, and something resembling St. Louis' Arch or Seattle's Space Needle. The group of local tourism head-honchos ran into a roadblock, however, when Governor Bobby Jindal vetoed a bill that would have helped fund the project. The demo plan was met with great opposition, so in order to stay in the running they are now open to tossing that proposal and starting anew.
· Group backs Off Plan to Demolish WTC as City Officials Consider Redevelopment Proposals [The Advocate]
· Vendor Presentations for the Redevelopment of the World Trade Center Site [nola.gov]
· All WTC Coverage [Curbed NOLA]