DuBos: Hard work begins now on World Trade Center

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 20 at 6:41 PM

As mentioned earlier in our newscast, a committee at City Hall has recommended the Dallas firm of Gatehouse Capital Corporation to redevelop the city-owned World Trade Center. And that’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

It was bound to be a controversial decision: picking one company to redevelop the old World Trade Center at the foot of Canal Street.

A committee appointed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu chose Gatehouse Capital of Dallas as the best of three bidders Tuesday.

Gatehouse proposes to keep the World Trade Center building, not tear it down, and redevelop it as an office tower and residential building. That’s hardly a radical idea for downtown New Orleans, but maybe what’s needed is something practical, even predictable, rather than something way outside the box.

This much is certain: The idea of tearing down the building, which is loved by some and ridiculed by others, probably disqualified the one bidder that suggested tearing down the WTC.

Deciding to keep the building is the easy part. The hard part will be making the 1960s-era building functional today — and for decades to come. Gatehouse also will have to navigate the Byzantine political waters at City Hall to make this work.

Others have been down this road before, with other mayors, and the WTC remains pretty much unchanged. Maybe this time, things will be different.

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