NEW ORLEANS — It probably will be at least July before city officials decide which of three redevelopment proposals for the World Trade Center site at the foot of Canal Street they prefer. Negotiating an agreement with the chosen developer is then likely to take several more months.
The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/ZUFXoV ) Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant outlined that timetable Tuesday at a meeting of the board of the New Orleans Building Corp., the public benefit corporation that oversees the World Trade Center and several other city-owned properties.
Two of the proposals submitted last week in response to a request for proposals issued in January suggest keeping the vacant 33-story office tower built in the 1960s, and redeveloping it as a hotel and other purposes. The third proposal, backed by a coalition of local tourism leaders, calls for demolishing the building and in its place erecting some sort of new structure that the tourism leaders say could become an iconic emblem of New Orleans.
The WTC site, overlooking the river between the French Quarter and the Central Business District, is considered one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the city.
Grant said a five-member selection committee, all officials in the Landrieu administration, will hold its first meeting to review the proposals in mid-May, then hold a public meeting in June at which the three development teams will present their plans and answer questions. The committee is expected to finish its work and present its recommendations to the NOBC board in July.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com