Mayor Mitch Landrieu's gigantic plan to pack up City Hall and the Civil District Court and give them a new home in the million-square-foot building that once housed Charity Hospital is not going to happen. It all boils down to the dollar bills, y'all, and The Lens reports that "a lack of state funding and a skyrocketing construction budget" led to Landrieu nixing the Civic Center plans. Renovating Charity, an art deco landmark that's been hauntingly vacant and in a wrecked state since Hurricane Katrina, would be no small feat and was originally predicted to be a $300 million project. Turns out, the numbers would be in the $397 million range, and in the words of Mayor Mitch, "Simply put, we cannot afford the project at this time, given our other critical needs."
For now, Landrieu plans to use $11 million in FEMA money for "reasonable repairs" to City Hall and the courthouse. As for Charity, well, it continues to be a blighted structure. The Times-Pic reports that a marketing agreement which involves the Louisiana Department of Administration hunting for a possible developer ends September 7, so question mark status it is. Perhaps developer Pres Kabacoff will spring into action with his plans for a brain research center that would studying how hyperbaric chambers can help treat trauma victims? As always, stay tuned.
· Landrieu drops plans to create civic center at former Charity Hospital [The Lens]
· Charity Hospital coverage [Curbed NOLA]
· Charity Hospital building's uncertain future worries many in New Orleans [NOLA.com]