City unveils competing proposals to redevelop World Trade Center site

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Monday afternoon, New Orleans city officials released three proposals to redevelop the World Trade Center site.

The Lens revealed details of one of those proposals last week: A group called the Tricentennial Consortium, made up of major players in the city’s hospitality industry, has proposed creating an iconic sculpture on the site as part of a massive riverfront redevelopment.

The documents released Monday offer more information on that proposal and two others.

W Hotel, apartments and “TriCentennial Sky Wheel”

In this $190 million project, Gatehouse Capital would build a 245-room W Hotel to replace the current W Hotel on Poydras Street. The company would use the upper floors for residential apartments. The company proposes a $30 million “Sky Wheel,” similar to the Seattle Great Wheel, on the edge of the river.

Luxury hotel, plaza and return of the World Trade Center

In this proposal from James H. Burch LLC, most of the building would be converted into a 550-room luxury hotel, the World Trade Center would return to the site, and four floors would house consulates from nations around the world.

The bottom three floors would be transformed into an open-air “World Plaza,” with shops, music venues and a glass-enclosed studio kitchen for celebrity chefs. A “monument film” would be viewable on a shaded patio:

On the street side of the extended plaza, in a stand-alone setting, a large LED video screen will be within a glass elevated presentation structure, facing up Canal Street, with a continuous-loop video showing of people interacting, laced with scenes of the history of New Orleans, the fire and beauty, the adventure and bravery, the mixture of peoples and love of life, people smiling and acting neighborly. The final video screen, before re-looping, would state “Our Center is our Heart.”

“Tricentennial Tower”

In this proposal, the World Trade Center would be demolished and “Tricentennial Tower” would be erected in its place. This proposal from the Tricentennial Consortium describes an observation deck, a ticketed ride and a “National Wetlands Center.”

This Center, developed and operated by the Audubon Institute, would be a Disney-quality environmental education center, telling the story of America’s wetlands, their bountiful past, fragile present and rejuvenated future. The narrative would be presented in compelling and memorable exhibit techniques, which will culminate in a panoramic “spiral ride” ascending to the tower’s crown. The crown will feature a 360-degree observation deck, placing the shimmering water of the surrounding wetlands, as well as our 300-year old city, in direct view.


WVUE report on three proposals includes interviews with key players

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