Hyatt New Orleans Comeback Trail

Old Jul 26, 06, 1:58 pm
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Hyatt New Orleans Comeback Trail

Hyatt-Superdome Area to Be Redeveloped Into New Hyatt Jazz District
Finished Site to Generate More Than 6,500 Permanent Jobs
(Excerpts from article)

* Jazz heritage to fuel cultural revitalization and economic growth with creation of a world-class National Jazz Center as part of 20-acre park

* Jazz Park to create a major urban oasis amidst medical center, business, city buildings and Superdome

* Devastated Hyatt Regency New Orleans to reopen as world-class hotel and meeting site

* Master Plan calls for new courts and city hall

Governor Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin and the Hyatt District Rebirth Advisory Board today announced plans to create a 20-acre performance arts park that is to be anchored by a new National Jazz Center. The plans were created by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, and his firm, Morphosis, and also call for an outdoor auditorium, new city government buildings, a new civil courts building and major redevelopment of the Hyatt Regency site.

Laurence Geller, chief executive officer of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, the Hyatt Regency's owner, said the plans were created in consultation with an advisory board of leading New Orleans and international experts from fields including architecture and planning, the arts, economics and hospitality. Strategic Hotels & Resorts funded the Advisory Board's work.

Several buildings will be relocated to create a great lawn that stretches six city blocks, creating an open-air Jazz Park.

"The advisory board has created a bold plan that transforms the Hyatt area into a world-class urban area and destination. Rather than an under-utilized adjunct of disparate sports, hotel and city facilities, the Hyatt Jazz District will be a grand destination that provides the citizenry with an unmatched urban cultural experience," said Geller.

"We are especially grateful to both Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin for their vision and leadership. In fact, shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Nagin met with us to discuss the rebirth of this ravished area of the city and to consider the opportunity for a new City government complex. Today's announcement takes that vision to the next step. We thank both the Governor and the Mayor for their support of this unique public and private partnership," Geller said.

The National Jazz Center will reside in an iconic building designed by Thom Mayne. It will house the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) as well as performance space, studios, classrooms, a library and offices.

"The plans and studies that we have done to date will be the generative material for this complex and important project," said Thom Mayne. "It is now that our work will begin in earnest -- to engage and collaborate with the community and with the project's stakeholders to further refine our initial concepts in order to most effectively and sensitively begin to rebuild this key part of the great city of New Orleans."

"The new Hyatt Jazz District is a transformative project that will change the very nature of New Orleans for the better, much as the Superdome did a little more than 30 years ago," said Wm. Raymond Manning, the lead local architect in planning and design of the district. "Unlike one iconic building, however, the planned Hyatt Jazz District will integrate our civic infrastructure of courts and city hall with a major tourist destination and park that will link to other areas of the City, including the Quarter, Convention Center and Riverfront," Manning said.

According to Irvin Mayfield, artistic director of NOJO, "The new National Jazz Center and Park will be the catalyst that stimulates the revitalization of the New Orleans economy rightfully centered around jazz, our most abundant natural resource. This will be the finest structure for jazz in the world."

"The new National Jazz Center can be a focal point for rebuilding our talent pool of jazz musicians as well as other artists, cultural troupes and entrepreneurs that the Cultural Committee of the Mayor's Bring New Orleans Back Commission found to be a critical component of rebuilding the City," said Wynton Marsalis, noted jazz musician and co-chairman of the Cultural Committee of the Commission. "This project will complement and enhance New Orleans' vibrant Jazz culture."

The Hyatt Regency New Orleans will be significantly altered and improved to accommodate the Jazz Center. The Hyatt was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, but its superstructure remained relatively intact. The Hyatt entranceway will be relocated to the east side of the building, new ballroom space will be built, and a new rooftop restaurant will be added. The whole interior of the Hyatt will be made over and updated.

Estimated costs for the National Jazz Center and Jazz Park are estimated at $716 million and are expected to generate more than $6 billion in economic benefits over 20 years. An economic study commissioned by the Board and conducted by Dr. William Oakland of Tulane University and Dr. Wade Ragas of the University of New Orleans estimates that the plan will generate almost 14,000 man years of construction work and create more than 6,500 permanent jobs.
777 global mile hound is offline  
Old Aug 2, 06, 12:16 am
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Have a link for this?
sechs is offline  
Old Aug 2, 06, 11:17 am
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I've been looking for the details of the project. Thanks for posting.
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