New Orleans Names 3 Finalists To Develop Piazza d'Italia

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans officials will give further consideration to develop city-owned property fronting the Piazza d'Italia.

         NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune’s Jennifer Larino reports that the city advanced three proposals Friday to develop two parking lots that surround the plaza honoring Italians who immigrated to New Orleans in large numbers. Five groups originally submitted proposals for the properties. The larger one borders the business district artery of Poydras Street on one side.

         The team led by ICD Sitra, a hotel developer based in Guadalajara, Mexico, envisions a $92 million project with a 355-room, 29-floor branded lifestyle hotel next to a smaller, 155-room "select service" hotel. The proposal includes a 20,600-square-foot convention center, luxury retail and parking. ICD Sitra would develop the project and OSH, also based in Mexico, and Crowninvest, based in New York, would manage and operate the hotels.

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         Chrysolite Management Group of Kingsport, Tennessee proposes a 250-room Hard Rock Hotel complete with a 50,000-square-foot Hard Rock Live concert venue on the lower level of the development. The project would be financed by a mortgage and cash from the developer.

         A group led by Carter & Associates of Atlanta wants to build 282 apartments with more than 6,300 square feet of street-level retail space as well as a potential boutique hotel. The proposed $80 million development would include a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Carter will oversee construction while Majestic Realty would be the primary financer of the project, using a mortgage and private equity from the developers.

         Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration and the city-owned Canal Street Development Corp. will select the winner and negotiate a lease, with a decision expected by February.

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         Officials said the three developers are capable of executing their plans.

         All three companies selected expressed willingness to hire local workers and minority-owned companies, but did not present specific plans to do so.

         For more information

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