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  #281  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2009, 9:35 PM
sguil1 sguil1 is offline
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Saints and state agree on new 15 year lease extention to stay in New Orleans. Included is 85 million in further renovations to the dome, including adding 3000 seats and 16 luxury suites. Also included is the buying of the vacant dominion tower that is adjacent to the dome by Benson. Will also buy and redevelop the new orleans centre into a sports entertainment disctrict. Great news! Still has to pass legislature but is expected to do so.

http://blog.nola.com/saintsbeat/2009...l_and_new.html



Dominion tower

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  #282  
Old Posted May 1, 2009, 4:45 AM
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Nothing new added to the city, but it's great to see something happen with these parcels. I'm a little worried about what will happen with the mall, though. Obviously this area couldn't really support the mall pre-Katrina, so I'm interested to see how they will try to attract retailers. Also, the mall probably needs better connections to surrounding buildings... that whole area is a maze of parking garages and skywalks right now.

Hopefully the shifting of state offices into Dominion Tower won't impact the construction plans for the other state building a few blocks away. I can just see the state tearing down a building, expecting to replace it, then completely change direction and move into a different building, leaving yet another giant hole in the cityscape.
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  #283  
Old Posted May 2, 2009, 1:58 AM
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I totally agree about the mall. It will only really be viable on gamedays so they better be able to make a ton of money then. I think the dominion tower deal is a great one. It not only gets that blighted tower back online but it will bring a ton of people to that end of Poydras, which has been very dead since katrina, especially with the vacant medical district and all. It will be good for resturaunts, and other businesses down there. Also this is great incentive for the Hyatt to come back online. They know they will have a ton of events to bank on for the next 15 years, including one or two superbowls.
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  #284  
Old Posted May 7, 2009, 4:17 PM
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Tulane Senior Housing - not much info on this project, but drove down Tulane avenue today and saw they had torn down the entire facing of the old building at 3433 Tulane ave. Sign in front says it will be developed into St. Michael Senior housing complex. $2.9 million building permit was approved by the city. Glad to see something being done, this might be the ugliest building in the city.

http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.co...fm?recID=23698

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  #285  
Old Posted May 8, 2009, 2:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sguil1 View Post
Tulane Senior Housing - not much info on this project, but drove down Tulane avenue today and saw they had torn down the entire facing of the old building at 3433 Tulane ave. Sign in front says it will be developed into St. Michael Senior housing complex. $2.9 million building permit was approved by the city. Glad to see something being done, this might be the ugliest building in the city.

http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.co...fm?recID=23698

Welcome news on the Tulane project, another of several new and redo's that will bring back the grand old thoroughfare.
The design (fake facade) on the building reminds me of many "edificios" I saw in San Juan.
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  #286  
Old Posted May 8, 2009, 3:53 AM
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Maybe we're in some disagreement here... there are many ugly buildings in this city, but that isn't one of them. It has the right scale for Tulane Avenue and a sensible design that uses some of the bright colors that New Orleanians put on their shotgun doubles, in a neighborhood full of such houses. No, if you want to see ugly, look at any building in the medical district built after 1950. Any of Tulane's buildings, the VA hospital, University Hospital, etc. You'd think that with the great modern architecture that Tulane has built uptown, they could do the same downtown, but apparently not.

In terms of design standards, we're lightyears behind major cities like Chicago and New York, but I'm okay with that because spectacular architecture isn't necessarily a requirement for economic vitality. It would be nice, of course, but it isn't essential like in NYC or Chicago where the architecture itself is a tourist attraction. I do, however, expect certain things out of buildings regardless of what style they are built in - they need to have sensible responses to the hot, rainy weather, hurricane protection, an active street level, and come up to the sidewalk unless absolutely necessary. They also need to incorporate trash areas and loading docks away from the street.

Luckily, all the major projects going up right now DO have good designs (LCRC, 930 Poydras, State Building, Tulane Ave stuff) and the proposals also have decent architecture (Tracage, Vantage). Trump has okay design, although it's not gonna win any awards, and even the replacement designs for the projects seem to be pretty good. I'm not really a fan of the Make It Right houses - they look like Picasso messed with traditional shotgun houses and then set them on stilts. If they want to do modern, then don't compromise it by trying to bring in too much stuff from traditional styles.
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  #287  
Old Posted May 8, 2009, 6:28 PM
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Its not the architecture itself that I have a problem with, its the fact that it is in such disrepair. It would have been more accurate to have said that it is one of the worst eyesores in the city. I cringe every time I pass it because its so rundown. Same feeling I get when passing the texaco building on canal or dixie brewery, and I think dixie is an architectural gem but its in such shambles that it looks like it will collapse any day now. I wish there was a rendering of how the building will be renovated but I think it will be pretty basic with such a small budget. Anything is better than a blighted building in my opinion.

As far as the newer projects, I also like the direction the designs are going. Especially LCRC and 930 Poydras, which by the way is just starting to get its paneling on the first two levels of the parking garage. They are now on the
8th story and a new article is out saying that completion still expected by the end of the year.

http://www.djcgulfcoast.com/item.cfm?recID=12981

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  #288  
Old Posted May 15, 2009, 1:13 AM
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Saints deal passes through the house easily. This is obviously great news for the Saints but I also think this deal will do wonders for the CBD with all of the planned renovations, not to mention SuperBowl 2013.

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.s...lion_stat.html

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.s..._to_scutt.html
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  #289  
Old Posted May 15, 2009, 6:16 AM
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I hope we get 2013! We have to keep up with Miami in hosting the most Super Bowls!

But yeah, I really like the Saints deal. A truly modern stadium is really, REALLY cool. Even Soldier Field here in Chicago is really nice, but places like Nationals Stadium in DC, Great American Ball Park/Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, etc. are placed that blow me away. The Saints are planning for the elevated plaza of the Superdome to go from being a county fair to being Times Square.

I hope this will be the good future necessary for the Hyatt team to land financing for the renovation of that building.

BTW, as of last week, the huge signage pylon between the Superdome and the I-10/Crescent City interchange was covered in scaffolding. It's probably just getting repainted, but I thought the paint was fine before? I'm hoping there will be some flashy new signs added, or the pylon will be painted a bold color.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 15, 2009 at 6:32 AM.
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  #290  
Old Posted May 15, 2009, 6:29 AM
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Charity Hospital

In other good news, FEMA denied the State the $400 million it wants to replace Charity Hospital. FEMA stands by its earlier offer of $120 million, which would not be enough to level Lower Mid-City for a whole new hospital, but it would be almost enough to renovate the existing Charity complex, which is IMO a far better plan for everybody involved - there is less wasteful government spending, a beautiful historic building is preserved, and a whole neighborhood won't be evicted. Honestly, it's a no-brainer - so why do Jindal and the House continue to stand by LSU's terrible plan?

Of course, even if LSU renovates Charity, that still leaves VA, which also plans to demolish a large section of Lower Mid-City. Theirs is a more difficult situation, since their existing building looks like hell AND is inefficient. There are several parking lots between Tulane and Canal that form a continuous parcel large enough for a new hospital with a vertical design, but since everybody important in Louisiana seems to have the urban-planning mindset from the 1960s, I'm sure that would be rejected immediately.
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  #291  
Old Posted May 17, 2009, 5:32 PM
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Yeah, its really just time for SOMETHING to be done with the hospital. Whichever side your on, one of the two needs to happen soon. I for one am now tired of all the arguing and wish a decision would be made and don't have a preference either way. One intersting scenerio i've heard is build the new VA on the smaller area of mid city since it has funding and to redevelop charity and use the old VA right next door as LSU's clinic tower.
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  #292  
Old Posted May 18, 2009, 2:59 AM
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To be honest, I'm hoping for a scenario in which the current VA hospital is torn down - it's such an ugly building, and it recoils from the streets on all four sides like a society dame recoils from a bum. I think most people would agree that it has no architectural value - but I am open to any arguments about why it should be saved, since I don't want to make the same preservation mistake that has been made so many times before in New Orleans.

Charity, unlike the VA, is an amazing Art Deco complex that is, along with the State Capitol, one of the largest tangible representations of the Huey Long era, when state government commissioned beautiful Art Deco buildings in an attempt to bring Louisiana into the modern era, and give it its own monumental architecture that would embody the socialist big-government attitudes of the time. Even the building's purpose is, on the whole, a rather socialist one - health care provided free of charge to those who cannot afford it. Regardless of your feelings about socialism or big government, you can't argue that this building doesn't represent a crucial period in American and especially Louisiana history. You also can't argue with the RMJM Hillier study, funded independently, that projects that the renovation of Charity into a state-of-the-art modern hospital would be far faster and cheaper than the construction of a new hospital.

Lots of people have alternative proposals to the official one. The odd thing is that EVERY SINGLE New Orleanian (by this I mean city residents) that I've spoken with favors the preservation/renovation of Charity Hospital. On the flip side, I haven't heard a single good argument for the official plan. So why does the state/LSU keep pushing for a bad plan that is hated by nearly every single person who will be served by this new hospital?

As always, it's a pissing match between the power in Baton Rouge and the power in New Orleans. NO has a history of shrugging off state authority, and now the people up in Baton Rouge are willing to tear down an entire neighborhood just to show New Orleans who's boss. It's absurd.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 18, 2009 at 3:17 AM.
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  #293  
Old Posted May 20, 2009, 12:53 AM
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New Orleans to host SuperBowl 2013!!! Great news for the city and also for that end of poydras street. Look forward to seeing the updates to the dome, dominion tower, hyatt, and new orleans center. Between 2011 and 2013 N.O. will host 3 sugar bowls, BCS national championship, women's final four, mens final four and the superbowl.

http://blog.nola.com/saintsbeat/2009...d_the_sup.html

Good article on how this will immediately impact the N.O. economy.

http://www.nola.com/business/index.s...t_associa.html


Last edited by sguil1; May 20, 2009 at 1:15 AM.
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  #294  
Old Posted May 21, 2009, 3:19 AM
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Mayor says "letter of intent" has been signed to buy Chevron Place and relocate city hall there...interesting.

http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2...y_nagin_1.html

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  #295  
Old Posted May 21, 2009, 5:15 AM
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A commenter on the Times Picayune website voiced my main concern - this building isn't in a prominent location. What does it say about New Orleans that our city hall is in some forgotten corner of the CBD, instead of its original location along a major street, where it faced a plaza with other governmental buildings in a unified and dignified Modern style?

Also, this vision of a huge green space is not a bad idea - there is precious little downtown green space, just a few forlorn plazas - but it seems awfully expensive. Where's that money gonna come from? It also seems like a waste to tear down the existing City Hall when such a park could be placed on the ocean of empty lots that already exists right across the street. The City Hall building has its problems, but a well-done renovation can solve all of them. The only reason the city hasn't renovated is because the modifications that the building needs would be a terrible burden upon the workers inside.

Also.. for the Super Bowl!
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  #296  
Old Posted May 21, 2009, 7:13 PM
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Offer has been confirmed by Chevron. $7.3 million, actually pretty cheap for that building. Good news is sounds like someone will eventually aquire that building and get it up and running.

http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2...ins_offer.html
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  #297  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 11:35 PM
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Southern Star Amusement in preliminary talks to purchase dormant Six Flags site.

http://blog.nola.com/tpmoney/2009/05...nt_in_pre.html

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  #298  
Old Posted May 30, 2009, 12:00 AM
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I wasn't in NO prior to Katrina; was Six Flags New Orleans a year-round theme park like those in LA and Orlando?

Coming from Chicago, I'm used to amusement parks being a seasonal thing, since the rides can't be operated safely in the winter.

If the park is open year-round, then it could become a significant tourist draw for New Orleans. Currently, the city suffers because it is not a family-friendly destination - the only tourists in New Orleans are those who want to eat in expensive restaurants and get themselves smashed afterwards, with perhaps a girlie show thrown in at some point. There are a lot of these tourists, granted, and there's nothing wrong with partying, but a whole other market exists that the city could tap into. The park, while it is within city limits, is about equidistant from the CBD as it is from Slidell, which might be a more attractive hotel location for families than the CBD/Quarter.

The fact that such a park would be independently operated is a good thing. Places like Universal Studios, Disney, and Busch Gardens tend to be tourist draws, while Six Flags parks do not, since they are a national chain. If Southern Star can advertise their park as something unique, then it could become quite a destination. I also like the job prospects that this park provides; we're talking hundreds or even thousands of new jobs, which can only be a good thing.
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  #299  
Old Posted May 30, 2009, 12:31 AM
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I wasn't here either, but i'm pretty sure it was open at least most of the year. The major problem with this park was its location. It was a little far from downtown for tourists and also on the wrong side of new orleans to draw people from baton rouge. Something located on the west side of the city would probably do better with the local support. But it also was not a water park and I think that would do considerably better. I did go to six flags a few times when it was here and really enjoyed it.
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  #300  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2009, 11:46 PM
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If im correct in memory, I think it was open random times thoughout the year with a more set schedule in the May-September timeframe. I know it was open for things like Halloween and Thanksgiving. New Orleans is actually a better suited place to theme park during the winter since it isnt so hot. Six Flags/Jazzland has lots of problems with its location though. Out of all the areas to place a theme park in the metro area, I would have never chosen that site. Nevertheless, thats where it is. I hope they can figure something out to clean it up and bring in some better landscaping. Its a crime to be in a city as green as New Orleans is and have hardly a tree. It was ridiculously hot there in the summer!
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