The big announcement that Gatehouse Capitol, Corp. were the chosen ones for the redevelopment of the former World Trade Center building happened back in August, and even though the lease agreement negotiations got the go-ahead to start six months ago, the waiting game continues. Lease details for a 245-room W Hotel with apartments taking over the vacant city-owned property at the foot of Canal Street were expected to wrap up by the end of 2013 and The Advocate reports, "...the board has not met since [September 30, 2013], and neither board members nor the public have been updated on the progress of negotiations." So, what's the hold-up?
Even though Gatehouse beat out two other groups for the site's redevelopment, the New Orleans Building Corp., the cats in charge of handling developments concerning city-owned real estate, have had a couple issues with the proposal. For starters, the initial $10 million upfront payment for the 99-year lease wasn't considered enough loot for the red-hot riverfront property. This led to Gatehouse upping their offer to "105 percent of the building's fair market value, as determined by a third-party appraiser," but no word yet on NOBC's reaction. Another possible cause of the delay: Gatehouse didn't have concrete plans on how they will include a set amount of disadvantaged businesses in the development, which was one of the requirements. As always, stay tuned.
· Six months of talks on WTC building have produced no agreement [Advocate]
· Previous Gatehouse/WTC building coverage [Curbed NOLA]