Gatehouse, Corp.'s plan to develop the former World Trade Center building into a W Hotel and apartments was the big winner at today's meeting.The committee decided this is best fit for the vacant building at the foot of Canal Street, but the New Orleans Building Corp.'s approval is still needed. Rich Webster reports that the committee has a couple issues with Gatehouse's super-hip proposal. One, they think the $10M upfront payment for the 99-year lease isn't enough loot and two, Gatehouse doesn't have any set plans on how they will include a set amount of disadvantaged businesses in the development (a requirement).
From Gatehouse's redevelopment plans that popped up in our inbox:
· The first 12 floors will be a 245-room W Hotel and floors 13 through 29 will be one and two-bedroom apartments.
· The 30th floor will have eight penthouse apartments with 18-foot ceilings and windows galore. These can be converted to W-branded condos.
· So there is no local-tourist mingling going on, the 31st floor will be roped off for the building's dwellers. There will be fancy things like a rooftop pool, fitness center, a deck with an outdoor kitchen and fire pit, and a "sky lounge" business center so residents can email everyone about how good life is at the top.
· A separate five-floor building to the south of the WTC will have an 8,000-square foot ballroom and and a 16,000-square foot rooftop pool area. The pool area will accept locals and visitors alike and there will be day and night concerts on weekends.
· Of course, the ferris wheel plans got scrapped but there will be a spinning, er, rotating cocktail lounge on the 33rd floor. There are also plans for a John Besh restaurant. A portion of all music-related proceeds (see above: pool parties!) will go to the Trombone Shorty Foundation.
· The Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry is right next to the WTC building and Gatehouse will "consider eliminating" car traffic on the ferry landing in order to make it an "attractive pedestrian and tourist connection."
· As for the surrounding area, hip is the key word, ladies and gents. They want to put in a "cool, hip, diverse designated food truck area" and sorry, Crazy Lobster fans, they want to replace the Riverwalk's "outdated" restaurant tenants with hip movers and shakers like Sucre, Company Burger, and Rum House.
· Curious what's happening with the W Hotel on Poydras Street? It was sold to Chesapeake Lodging for $65M and is currently being renovated. The hotel will be a new-to-New Orleans Starwood Hotels property.
· Selection committee recommends Gatehouse be awarded World Trade Center contract [nola.com]
· All WTC Coverage [Curbed NOLA]