Three groups vying for World Trade Center bid will present before committee

July 30 2013 | Latest News
By Blake Hanson, WDSU-6 News

Jul 30, 2013

NEW ORLEANS —Three groups vying to decide the future of the World Trade Center building will go before a selection committee Tuesday to state their cases. Once presentations are complete, the future of the WTC will be in the hands of the committee.

A decision is expected in mid-August.

Each group has offered varying proposals for the future of the building that's been vacant for years.

James H. Burch is proposing turning the building into a world-class civic center. The Burch group has already received a commitment from musician Kermit Ruffins to start a music club. The proposal would also bring hotel rooms, apartments and other clubs to the structure.

Gatehouse Capitol, a Dallas-based company, is proposing a 1960s modernist redevelopment of the building. The organization has been trying to ramp up support by placing "Save the World Trade Center" signs across the city of New Orleans.

A third proposal is from the Tricentennial Consortium, a group made up of local tourism and hospitality leaders. It's proposing to demolish the site and build an international symbol in its place. The concept is similar to how the Gateway Arch has become a symbol for the city of St. Louis.

The building at 2 Canal Street was constructed in 1968. For years, it was known as the International Trade Mart, or ITM, building. The building eventually fell into a state of decline and vacancy. Efforts to rebuild the building have been ongoing since the 1990s.

The selection committee meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday in the New Orleans City Council Chambers.