State Receives Plans For Charity Hospital Redevelopment

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Five potential development groups have submitted plans to rescue New Orleans' Charity Hospital — the huge art-deco style building vacant since the catastrophic flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina.

         Mayor Mitch Landrieu had sought to transform the building into a new City Hall, but that proposal fell through last year.

         New Orleans, CityBusiness’ Robin Shannon reports the plans range from a mixed use building with apartments and shops to a health research center but state officials are not discussing details.

         Louisiana Division of Administration spokesman Greg Dupuis said responses to the state's "request for information" were submitted by HRI Properties and Healing Minds NOLA, both known to be New Orleans-based, University of North Carolina School of Government, Matthews Southwest and CHR Partners LLC.

         Dupuis said the agency is reviewing and evaluating each written response. He said the process would be followed by oral discussions with development groups whose responses are determined by the state to be most responsive to the specified objectives.

         Old Charity remains closed and unused. It is a 20-story, 1-million-square-foot Art Deco hulk built in the 1930s as one of the biggest hospitals ever constructed. The new hospital includes about 1.6 million square feet of building space.

         The hospital — commonly referred to as "Big Charity" — was run by Louisiana State University as a teaching hospital and served the health care needs of a large portion of the city's poor population. Charity was where people went to get a variety of ailments treated at little to no cost.

         Charity also had mental health services and was a Level 1 trauma center, the one place in the region where the most critical cases — such as gunshot and car accident victims — were taken.

         Katrina's floodwaters swamped the basement and lower parts of Charity, prompting state officials to close it and say it was beyond repair.




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