The Howard Hughes Corp., a national real estate developer that led the massive $70 million redevelopment of the Riverwalk outlet mall, is joining one of the five groups competing to redevelop the New Orleans World Trade Center building, the company told CanalStreetBeat.
In a March 10 letter to the City Selection Committee (full letter included below), Howard Hughes Corporation President Grant Herlitz said, “As a neighboring property owner with a vested interest in the area, it is our view that the vision and collaborative spirit of 2 Canal Redevelopment, LLC to work alongside other stakeholders, including the Convention Center, Hilton and the City to create a powerful, transformative development will ultimately deliver the most successful project. The site represents immense economic development potential.”
The 2 Canal Redevelopment team is led by four of New Orleans’ premier individuals in community leadership, real estate development and philanthropy, Darryl Berger, Roger Ogden. Joseph Jaeger and Dr. Norman Francis. Their proposal calls for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center into a five-star luxury Conrad Hotel and Residences.
2 Canal Redevelopment has proposed a $291 million renovation of the World Trade Center into a Hilton-brand Conrad Hotel and residences.
Howard Hughes is a Dallas-based publicly traded major national real estate company, with a market value of nearly $6 billion. Most importantly at it related to the World Trade Center development, the Riverwalk controls the long-term rights to the Spanish Plaza, which is situated at the river at the end of Canal Street and Poydras, adjacent to the Aquarium downriver, and the Hilton Riverside upriver. The Riverwalk also controls a series of primary servitudes or property restrictions around their site, including a number of rights that surround the World Trade Center building site.
“A re-imagination of Spanish Plaza and a thoughtful approach to the accessibility and connectivity of the riverfront and the rest of the city via Canal and Poydras Streets are important aspects to the design and planning of the overall project,” said Herlitz.
“Spanish Plaza is uniquely positioned to serve as the cultural heart of the redevelopment and play a key role in the upcoming Tricentennial celebration serving as a gathering place for visitors as well as for those who call New Orleans home. Of particular importance is achieving the long held civic aspiration to open the visibility of the river and Spanish Plaza at Canal St., and to enhance flow of pedestrian traffic from Canal St. to the Spanish Plaza and to the river’s edge.”
In another, separate project, Howard Hughes is competing against a team led by Berger and Jaeger to win the redevelopment of the Convention Center.
You can read the letter from Howard Hughes to the City Selection Committee here.