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mjf150 01-31-2006 08:23 AM

New Orleans' Plans for the Future
Trump Plans To Top Crescent City Skyline With $200 Million Tower
August 26, 2005
By Paul Rosta, Senior Associate Editor

Donald Trump has laid out plans to team with a Pensacola, Fla.-based team and the head coach of the New Orleans Saints football team to develop a 60- to 70-story, $200 million mixed-use building that could be the New Orleans' tallest.

"New Orleans is a very sexy city," said Donald Trump Jr., vice president of development at the Trump Organization (pictured), noting that the city's legendary vibrancy and cultural scene were the main attractions to the firm.

Trump noted that the tower's floorplates, and the exact size of the hotel and condominium components have not yet been determined. "It just gives us the flexibility to gauge where the market is," he said.

The New Orleans development is another sign that the Trump Organization is branching out beyond its New York stronghold and creating a national presence, Trump said, pointing to high-profile projects in Chicago and Las Vegas.

"Donald Trump (Senior's) addition to the market is just further evidence that New Orleans is a good place for investors, and the smart money is here," said John Talmage, deputy director of the city's Office of Economic Development. He pointed to Hertz Investment Group's recent acquisition of several Class A office towers on Poydor Street, where the tower proposed by Trump and his partners would also be located.

Trump and his team, who are privately financing the project, have acquired the site, a one-acre parking lot near the French Quarter. Permitting could start as early as this fall, Talmage added.

Cliff Mowe, one of three Pensacola, Fla.-based developers operating as Poydras LLC, told CPN that the project will include 350 to 400 high-end hotel rooms, 200 to 250 luxury hotel rooms, retail, restaurant and commercial space. The team hopes to break ground within the next nine months and open the project in mid- to late-2008. Mowe's partners at Poydras include Allen Levin, Robert Rinke, and Saints head coach Jim Haslett.

The tower comes in the midst of the city's condominium boom. "It's not the front end of the market but it's certainly coming at the height of the market," Talmage said. In addition, the project could help lure other national investors and tie in to the planned redevelopment of the city's waterfront, located not far from the tower's proposed site. The city hopes to complete the waterfront rezoning process this year.

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