May 15 2014 | Latest NewsBY CHAD CALDER
The Gretna City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a site plan for a 123-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel on a recently annexed parcel of land north of the West Bank Expressway.
The hotel is the first phase of a development being built by Bui Nguyen on the 11-acre tract, which was part of 15 acres formerly in Terrytown but annexed by Gretna early this year at the developer’s request.
Nguyen’s attorney has said there will be further development at the site, including retail, but he has not confirmed talk by city officials that the plans include two more hotels.
The parcel was not connected to the parish’s sewer system, leading to Nguyen’s request late last year for annexation. The parish agreed over the objections of some Terrytown residents, who said a neighboring Holiday Inn seems to do fine although it is part of unincorporated Jefferson.
The Courtyard by Marriott will include meeting rooms, an indoor pool and 123 parking spaces. It should be completed by mid-2015.
Officials have talked about designating the site as an economic development district to redirect some of the expected new tax revenue back into the development, but the administration hasn’t submitted anything to the council for approval.
Mayor Belinda Constant could not be reached for comment on her plans.
The council also approved a request by Gattuso’s restaurant to renovate and expand its bar and grill downtown.
The restaurant plans to almost double in size, adding another 1,680 square feet of kitchen and dining space.
In other business, Constant said an upcoming renegotiation of the city’s garbage contract with Progressive Waste Solutions would include recycling, a service the city currently does not provide.