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Huge Jazz Park and Hotel Development For Downtown New Orleans

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Sweeping downtown revitalization plan unveiled

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In a sweeping downtown revitalization plan being unveiled this morning, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans Hotel and the New Orleans Shopping Center will be turned into a modern 20-acre multi-use National Jazz Center and park buttressed by public office buildings.

The $715 million project, spearheaded by Strategic Hotels & Resorts, the Chicago-based owner of the Hyatt, is the first major redevelopment project announced since Hurricane Katrina. Developers say the project would generate construction jobs, taxes and tourism and change the face of the city the way that Millennium Park has transformed Chicago, the Inner Harbor has revitalized Baltimore and the Guggenheim Museum has put Bilbao, Spain, on the international map.

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Renderings:

AAJ1.jpg

AAJ2.jpg

In case you can't read the numbers at the bottom of the picture, they are as follows:

1) Crescent Park (13 acres)

2) Louisiana Superdome

3) Civil Courthouse

4) Dominion Tower

5) Hyatt Hotel

6) Jazz Center and Museum

7) New Orleans Arena

8) Entergy Office Tower

9) 1250 (?) Poydras Place

The creation of a major new park is expected to make the District a draw for world travelers, much as Central Park in New York (built in the late 18th century) and Grant Park in Chicago (built in the early 20th century) and its new component, Millennium Park (opened in 2004) have done. This attraction will also draw businesses and dissuade businesses from leaving. In addition, restaurants, retail shops and other businesses are expected to locate adjacent to the park just as has happened in other major cities.

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so a single corporate entity is going to finance this? is there a city contribution or public oversight group? comparing a project like this to central and grant is pretty ambitious (i mean that in a good way). in scale, it looks more like the inner harbor mixed-use type of development. not that that's small.

the chicago and nyc parks had civic financing and at least a modicum of civic oversight. a project that nears $1 billion surely has this sort of accountability agreement with the city in place.....right?

boy, that's an enormous bunch of urban change. you've got to be brave to build in new orleans - not because of the flooding, but because of the culture. every bold stroke like this can be tragic or visionary. as fresh news, it's exciting as hell.

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Very interesting, thanks for the info Nate. :D

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Does this call for the demolition of the existing City Hall complex? I would imagine so. The plan looks ambitious. That area needs a boost. I hope all of this goes forward.

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Does this call for the demolition of the existing City Hall complex? I would imagine so. The plan looks ambitious. That area needs a boost. I hope all of this goes forward.

Yep, the present City Hall would be demolished, and would be moved to the Dominion Tower office building.

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Well, I can't shed any tears for the old City Hall. It wasn't a shining example of the International Style.

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I heard on the news that the city will have to come up with $100 million. That's an aweful lot to ask for a city that is getting a $150 million loan just to keep city services going for the next two years. But, to pass on this opportunity would be ludicrous.

That said, this certainly makes Vantage Tower much more attractive, doesn't it? Vantage will be right next door to this thing.

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From what I read on nola.com...the city is looking into using some sort land swap. I can't remember all of the details...but I remember reading about that...and using some tax credits...etc. as well. Considering 53% of the financing is already in place...I can definitely see this going forward. Heck...a 400 million dollar development is a big deal in itself...let alone a 715 million dollar deal.

I agree on the Vantage Tower looking more attractive. It's also not far from the Plaza Tower project.

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Well, I can't shed any tears for the old City Hall. It wasn't a shining example of the International Style.

Since the City Hall keeps getting mentioned, does anyone have any pictures of it? :D

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From what I read on nola.com...the city is looking into using some sort land swap. I can't remember all of the details...but I remember reading about that...and using some tax credits...etc. as well. Considering 53% of the financing is already in place...I can definitely see this going forward. Heck...a 400 million dollar development is a big deal in itself...let alone a 715 million dollar deal.

I agree on the Vantage Tower looking more attractive. It's also not far from the Plaza Tower project.

That's a good point. This is one project where a TIF would be appropriate. I fully support whatever we need to do to get this done.

And Rod, here's a picture of City Hall... aint it a bute... broken sign and all, along with a great view of the transformation in store...

BEFORE

01lg.jpg

AFTER

AAJ2.jpg

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Thanks for the pic. :D Is it my imagination or is there a building missing on the lefthand side?

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When I heard last week Hyatt had BIG plans, I was not very sure what to expect ! WOW ! Great idea ! New Orleans needs a Jazz District. I wish it could be ready for the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend. Well maybe for the Super Bowl ? Any time Chicago's Millinium Park or Inner Harbor in Baltimore are mentioned, that's reason enough to get excited.

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This will be a huge boost to the economy. I hope they are able to make it work.

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When I heard last week Hyatt had BIG plans, I was not very sure what to expect ! WOW ! Great idea ! New Orleans needs a Jazz District. I wish it could be ready for the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend. Well maybe for the Super Bowl ? Any time Chicago's Millinium Park or Inner Harbor in Baltimore are mentioned, that's reason enough to get excited.

There has been alot of talk lately about New Orleans getting the 2011 Super Bowl, and if that happens, this development would most likely be complete by then. And if this project happens, which I think it will, I think New Orleans' chances of getting a Super Bowl would go up greatly.

BTW, great comparison picture/rendering Travis! Thanks alot for posting that. :D

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Hey guys, just had a question that I was hoping someone could answer. If this was mentioned above, I'm sorry. One thing I havent been very clear on is the exact future for the Hyatt. What exactly is going to take place with its re-development? Is anything new happening to the building like a design change, or will it be the same? Thanks.

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Hey guys, just had a question that I was hoping someone could answer. If this was mentioned above, I'm sorry. One thing I havent been very clear on is the exact future for the Hyatt. What exactly is going to take place with its re-development? Is anything new happening to the building like a design change, or will it be the same? Thanks.

Nate, from what I remember of the news, the Hyatt is being renovated. It's loosing something like 60 rooms, but it's just undergoing renovation and upgrades... it'll still be our 3rd largest hotel, only better.

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Nate, from what I remember of the news, the Hyatt is being renovated. It's loosing something like 60 rooms, but it's just undergoing renovation and upgrades... it'll still be our 3rd largest hotel, only better.

Thanks Travis! I'm looking forward to seeing even more plans for this project. :D

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This image was printed in the Times Picayune on Wednesday:

renewal0te.png

Has anyone heard anything about the four residential buildings shown in that image? Is the tower closes to Poydras Vantage Tower?

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Heck, the Hyatt is going to undergo a $250 million complete overhaul...it's going to be a FINE hotel after this is completed.

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Heck, the Hyatt is going to undergo a $250 million complete overhaul...it's going to be a FINE hotel after this is completed.

I would definately think so. And one thing that's nice is the fact that the Hyatt will undergo that $250 million overhaul no matter how the rest of the project pans out.

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Can post-Katrina New Orleans afford a new City Hall and jazz park complex?

Article from the Times Picayune

It's a pretty long article, but it gives a good overview of the individual projects within the master project plan, as well as how those projects, and the overall project will have to be, or could be funded in order for everything in the plan to fall into place.

Finally, the public portion of the project includes $30 million to extend the streetcar line from Canal Street down Loyola Avenue to Girod Street, and $5 million for a transportation terminal.
A second phase would connect the streetcar with the Union Passenger Terminal, a step toward the long-standing dream of light-rail service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Private fund raising by Wynton Marsalis, who serves on the Hyatt's advisory board for the project, and by the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, which would be based at the park and play 40 dates a year there, could make a big dent in the price tag. Developers, saying there will be national and international interest in the project, plan to brand the National Jazz Center as the international headquarters of jazz.

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A rail connection to the airport is long overdue. I have always hated having to take a taxi or shuttle bus to and from the airport. I hope this idea isn't shelved.

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A rail connection to the airport is long overdue. I have always hated having to take a taxi or shuttle bus to and from the airport. I hope this idea isn't shelved.

That rail line needs to extend up river to BR.

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That rail line needs to extend up river to BR.

I am in complete agreement.

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The proposed streetcar line running down Loyola Avenue from Canal-Girod Street.

canalstreetcarextention4cu.png

Blue- built

Green- proposed

Excluding everything else about LRT and commuter rail linking New Orleans to Louis Armstrong Intl' and Baton Rouge, I think the street car extention itself has a very good chance of becoming a reality, mainly because most of the $35 million costs would be covered by federal transportation money. And it would be the key to starting a transportation terminal, and moving closer to making these plans of extensive rail systems become more realistic.

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