After the losing World Trade Center developers filed yet another lawsuit against those involved with selecting developers for the projects, the city of New Orleans is fighting back by attempting to change state law.
Working with the Landrieu administration, Sen. Conrad Appel filed a bill this week that would require developers contesting leases through public benefit corporations to post bond or cash with the court to keep the lawsuit alive. The amount of money would depend on the length of the lease.
The bill doesn't name Two Canal Street Investors, the litigious losers of the WTC redevelopment bid, specifically, but if passed the law would apply to both future and currently pending lawsuits.
The bill also loosens rules on how public benefit corporations such as the New Orleans Building Corp., the group that acts as a landlord for the city-owned WTC, would award leases in future development projects. Currently, the law says that any lease awarded must "provide for a fair and equitable return of revenue," and this new bill removes that, as well as other language that makes the process a little more objective.
But, according to the developers, all of this drama hasn't killed the project. Yet, at least.