Panel to present recommendations for future of Charity Hospital

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What should the future hold for Charity Hospital?

It’s a question that’s been asked countless times since Hurricane Katrina damaged it. Now, a panel of land use and urban planning experts hope to provide an answer.

The group will make recommendations to LSU on the best possible use for the abandoned building during a meeting this morning.

The presentation, which is open to the public, is set to begin at 9 a.m. at the LSU Human Development Center, 411 S. Prieur St. It will be streamed online as well.

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The panel, made up of members representing the Urban Land Institute, visited the city beginning Nov. 5 to perform an analysis of the local market to come up with recommendations about how development of Charity can benefit the nearby medical district and neighborhood.

The mammoth Art Deco building on Tulane Avenue was closed after Katrina’s floodwaters inundated its basement and ground floor.

Debate raged about whether it should reopen as a hospital, with state leaders choosing instead to build the new nearby University Medical Center to replace it.

The most-high profile plan for its future was as a new City Hall and home to Civil District Court, a plan Mayor Mitch Landrieu dropped after the state would not commit $100 of the estimated $270 million needed to assist in the transformation.

The panel that will present recommendations for Charity’s future is made up of John Walsh, CEO and founder of TIG in Dallas, who is chairman of the panel; Carlton Brown, co-founder of Direct Investments LLC in New York City, who is serving as the panel’s vice-chairman; Normon Dong, managing director, FD Stonewater LLC, Washington, D.C.; Brandon Hill, founder and president, Fusion Advisory Services, Birmingham, Ala.; Eric Maribojoc, executive director, Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship, George Mason University, Arlington, Va.; Tom Murphy, senior resident fellow, Urban Land Institute, Washington, D.C.; Liz Ogbu, founder and principal, Studio O, San Francisco; Tyrone Rachal, president, Urban Key Capital Partners, Atlanta; Lynn Ross, founder, Spirit of Change Consulting, Miami; and Melani Smith, adjunct faculty, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.