City is pushing for Plaza Tower owner to secure site

Local

NEW ORLEANS — It’s been nearly two weeks since strong wind sent pieces of the Plaza Tower crumbling to the ground in Downtown New Orleans.

A bicyclist was injured and multiple vehicles were damaged by the debris.

The city is pushing for the building’s owner to secure the site so the streets around the building can re-open.

“The priority is safety,” said Beau Tidwell, Chief Communications Director for the City of New Orleans. “We need to make sure we can safely re-open those streets in a way that the netting is set up that there will not be any further debris.”

The 45 story building has remained unoccupied for nearly 20 years. So far, the owner has taken little action to rectify the building’s most recent problems. The city is weighing the action it can take against the owner.

“That’s sort of a larger conversation,” Tidwell said. “I don’t know that we’re there yet, but the state of that site is a concern to the Mayor and the city.”

The building has multiple broken windows, gaps in fencing and people have been able to get in and graffiti the site.

The city has found multiple code violations, but at a recent news conference, the city said no hearing has been scheduled.

“We do not want to hinder any development, but we will move forward and monitor the building on a daily basis now,” said Tammie Jackson, director of safety and permits.

WGNO reached out to the owner of the Plaza Tower, but we have not heard back.

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