February 23 2017 | Posted in: Latest News
By: Garry Boulard, Contributing Writer - CityBusiness
Project description: Redevelopment of the 33-story former World Trade Center into a 350-room Four Seasons hotel and 76 hotel-serviced condos
Project cost: $360 million
Start date: To be determined
Owner/developer: City of New Orleans
Construction teams: Carpenter and Co., Woodward Deign + Build
New Orleans residents old enough to recall the planning span for making the World Trade Center a reality remember that it took more than a decade between the original vision and the day the 33-story building was finally finished.
So it should come as no surprise that plans to redevelop one of the most iconic structures in the city’s downtown are also proving lengthy.
“The project has been fairly effectively held up because of litigation,” says Greg Beuerman, a spokesman with the group led by Carpenter & Company and Woodward Interests, which is trying to turn the property at 2 Canal St. into a 350-room Four Seasons hotel.
Lawsuits were launched in the spring of 2015 when Stuart “Neil” Fisher, a Florida real estate investor and the owner of a company called Two Canal Street Investors, filed suit to stop the development.
Fisher charged that the city’s selection process, which resulted in Carpenter/Woodward Interests winning a bid for the project, was faulty.
In November, Orleans Civil District Court Judge Tiffany Chase dismissed Fisher’s lawsuit after neither he nor his counsel appeared in court for trial.
Since then, he has taken his suit to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal. In mid-February, an appellate court upheld the ruling.
Fisher said that he intends to take the legal battle to the state Supreme Court and federal court. He added that his new lawyers, Scott, Vicnair, Hair & Checki, told him the process could span another year.
“The battle is far from over,” Fisher said.
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