Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over World Trade Center Lease

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against New Orleans by developers who lost a bid to lease the World Trade Center New Orleans building.

         Orleans Civil District Judge Tiffany Chase dismissed the lawsuit Wednesday after Two Canal Street Investors failed to post a required $750,000 security to keep the litigation alive, Nola.com/The Times-Picayune’s Katherine Sayre reported.

         Two Canal Street Investors filed the lawsuit last year against the city and the New Orleans Building Corp., arguing that the city's selection process for a developer was unfair and illegal.

         The city, which considered five development proposals for a 99-year lease of the building, argued that the process was "open and competitive." It ultimately chose a Four Seasons development team, highlighting its experience, financial capacity and commitment to using disadvantaged business enterprises as subcontractors for the project.

         The city and the Four Seasons team asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit after the company failed to provide the security by the July 8 deadline.

         The judge's ruling now clears the way for a proposed $360 million Four Seasons hotel and condos to be developed at the building.

         Charlene Gipson, an attorney representing Two Canal Street Investors, told the newspaper that the judge dismissed their lawsuit without granting her clients a hearing to present their case. Gipson said they plan to challenge the judge's decision.

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