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World Trade Center of New Orleans

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Construction on the World Trade Center of New Orleans, a 33-story skyscraper at 2 Canal Street, was finished in 1967.

In the 2010s, the debate has centered on whether to renovate or demolish the building. Proposals submitted to the city include ideas like turning the building into a W Hotel and a mixed hotel and office space.

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Most people in New Orleans have an opinion on what should be done with the abandoned World Trade Center. WGNO’s Alyson Titkemeyer and Susan Roesgen gave the three developers who are competing to re-vitalize the building 30 seconds to give us their pitch.

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(Photo by Alyson Titkemeyer)

The three companies who are trying to get the contract to revitalize the World Trade Center property at the foot of Canal Street were each given 30 minutes before the City Council Tuesday morning.

The Council will take the presentations under advisement, but will not make a decision today.

Wednesday, the Burch Group presented their plan for re-developing the World Trade Center New Orleans, and it includes local music legend Danny O’Flaherty operating a new music club in the abandoned building.

Besides the music club, the Burch Group would also house a monument to the U.S. Presidency in the lobby.

The latest debate down at New Orleans City Hall is whether to demolish or redevelop the World Trade Center. While a meeting was going on inside, a group in favor of renovating the building rallied outside.

The outside group wants to turn the abandoned structure into a W Hotel with condos on the upper floor.

Nothing was decided today, and the next city meeting won’t be until the end of the month.

News with a Twist
07/01/13

Time to tear down New Orleans’ World Trade Center

What’s wrong with some New Orleanians?   Do they not get out much?  Do they not see how the rest of the world works?

The latest and greatest from some in the Crescent City is the strange desire to save the old World Trade Center building.  The abandoned 1960’s era building sits on the mighty Mississippi River at the foot of Canal and Poydras Streets – arguably one of the most desirable real estate locations in the South, in the CBD just a few feet from the French Quarter.

Mayor Mitch Landreiu will soon choose which direction the city will go in with the property.  The leading proposal calls for tearing the old building down and replacing it with a world class monument or new modern symbol of our city.  Some extremely short sighted New Orleanians, who are obviously used to seeing the building as part of our skyline, want to save it.  They think it’s architecturally significant.  Architecturally significant to whom?  The old World Trade Center building is empty.  It’s old.  It’s outdated.  It served its purpose.  It’s time to move on.  It’s time to tear down the old World Trade Center and build something iconic in its place.  A symbol of New Orleans today and into the future.  Not something from its forgotten past.

News with a Twist
04/22/13

What will become of New Orleans’ World Trade Center?

What a week for Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  First, the announcement of what would basically be a new Louis Armstrong International Airport for our city.  Then, late last week, the news leaking out of the preferred proposal of 3 that the mayor and his team will select for the redevelopment of the old World Trade Center site.

The 60s era icon will be torn down and replaced with a huge monument and park that will help the city reach the mayor’s goal of 13 million tourists by the city’s 300 year anniversary on 2018.  Developers envision a world class monument similar in stature and significance to the St. Louis arch or the Eiffel Tower.

But the plan is much bigger than just the World Trade Center site.  It actually includes a linear park going upriver, past the Convention Center, to the old Market Street power plant.  An entirely redeveloped downtown river front.

But it’s gets even better.  The Convention Center will go into a public/private partnership and develop the land on the uptown side of the building with retail, condos, and apartments.

Finally citizens can actually live and play on our long-neglected riverfront.  The mayor hit a couple of grand slams last week.  Lets hope they are real.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration has been accepting public bids all week on the old World Trade Center building.  The iconic old structure sits empty on the river at the foot of Canal and Poydras Streets.

This location is arguably one of the finest in the south and is clearly the most valuable piece of property in the city.  That makes it vitally important that Landrieu and the city make the right call on how to best re-develop the site.

Although the building has been part of our skyline for the last half-century, it’s time for it to go. The World Trade Center needs to be torn down, demolished.  The site, not the building, is too valuable.

New Orleans needs to build a world class monument for our city, similar to the historic Arc de Triumph in Paris or the more modern London “Eye”.  We need something like a “St. Louis Arch” in our city.  Some structure that IS New Orleans.

We’ve got a great opportunity to do something special and meaningful for our city with the old World Trade Center site and just in time for the city’s 300 year anniversary in 2018. Let’s not blow it and do something ordinary.

Let’s make sure a world class monument representing the greatness of New Orleans is erected on the old World Trade Center site.

You don’t have to be from New Orleans to know something isn’t right at the foot of Canal Street. Locals and tourists glanced upward to pinpoint the origin of a fallen chunk of concrete.

“I heard a crack and a pop,” said Kenny Watts. “I looked up to the top right there and that’s when I saw it breaking away.”

Watts was witnessing debris fall from a corner soffit of the World Trade Center some 33 stories up.

“Where it landed out there pieces could have hit somebody,” Watts said.

Fortunately, it didn’t.  Debris landed on Canal Street forcing its closure in the 300 block at one point.

The World Trade Center is vacant right now, but once housed a number of foreign consulates and the Port of New Orleans.

“I suspect that maybe the wind got under a failed part of the soffit and pulled it loose,” former WTC president Charles Nelson told WGNO News.

The WTC sits on perhaps some of the most expensive property in the city. The future of the building is uncertain. Some say redevelop others say bring it down.

By the way, the city owns the building.

“We’re going to do a quick planning process to see what the best use is and then request proposals and see if we can get a developer to come out and redevelop the building because it’s a valuable piece of public property that needs to be put back into commerce,” Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development Cedric Grant said.

Nelson agrees: “I think it has value to be redeveloped.”

That value however may diminish as the WTC seemingly is falling into disrepair.

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