670 KSF Former World Trade Center Hits Development Block Again

New developers and project ideas are sought for the redevelopment of the 33-story former World Trade Center, announced the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Building Corporation.

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

2 Canal Street (former New Orleans World Trade Center)

The city of New Orleans and the New Orleans Building Corp. are seeking new developers and project ideas for the redevelopment of the 33-story former World Trade Center. The former World Trade Center, located at 2 Canal St., has been in development limbo for several months, after an ambitious $190 million redevelopment project by Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corp. fell through.

“The redevelopment of 2 Canal St. is an incredible opportunity to capitalize on this iconic building’s important location as we continue to revitalize our Riverfront,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared. “The New Orleans market is very strong now, making this an opportune time for this exciting project to move forward,” he added.

The city is looking for proposals to redevelop the 670,000-square-foot property into a Class A commercial or mixed-use building. Plans can include a mix of luxury residential, hotel, office and retail. The property is eligible for historic tax credits and EB-5 financing. The selected developer will be obliged to sign a long-term lease, development and operation agreement. Interested developers need to file their Request for Qualifications by Nov. 15. City officials wish to ink an agreement with the chosen developer in the first quarter of 2015, in hopes of starting development soon after.

As previously reported, Gatehouse Capital Corp. was selected as developer of the trophy property about a year ago. The $190 million project envisioned turning the 407-foot former office building into a 410-key W hotel, with 280 luxury apartments occupying the upper half. The project would have also included reviving the 33rd floor rotating jazz cocktail lounge and restaurant. The deal fell apart during lease negotiations. According to Curbed Nola, Gatehouse’s$10 million upfront payment for the 99-year lease was considered insufficient. The developer then offered to purchase the property at 105 percent of the building’s market value. The city declined, as it does not wish to sell the high-profile office building, seeing a long-term lease as a more profitable revenue source.

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Image courtesy of Infrogmation via Wikimedia Commons