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Hotel Developer Hard Rock Sues City of New Orleans Over Height Limit and Policy | Law courts


The developers of the ill-fated Hard Rock Hotel sued the city over a new measure that would limit the height of future construction at the site of the building collapse, alleging it was a politically motivated ploy on the part of the government. city ​​council member Kristin Gisleson Palmer.

The developers say lowering the maximum height allowed on the site from 190 feet to 70 feet constitutes an illegal take of their property, and they are asking a judge in the Orléans Parish Civil District Court to declare null and void. void a request sponsored by Palmer.

Mohan Kailas, developer of the Hard Rock Hotel, in this October 2017 file photo.

The development group, led by downtown real estate mogul Mohan Kailas, has yet to unveil detailed plans for what it intends to build next on the site, which has ultimately been cleared of debris after a glacial demolition process. But the group claims that Hard Rock International, the Florida-based hotel and casino company that licensed its name to the original project, is back on board for another business.

This time around, the project will feature new entrepreneurs and “world-class” engineers, according to the developers.

The lawsuit filed Friday lists the seven members of the council as well as the city as defendants. But he forms his fiercest rhetoric on Palmer, who is running for a seat on the board.

City council voted unanimously on June 3 to ask city officials to draft an ordinance revoking the conditional use permit that allowed the Hard Rock to rise to 18 stories. The board must approve this ordinance before it comes into effect. A vote has not yet been scheduled.


City Councilor Kristin Gisleson Palmer on June 17, 2021.

For Palmer, the building collapse was the result of unbridled greed, and she unveiled her motion limiting the height of future development with a broadside against the Kailas group.

She said the developers were largely responsible for the disastrous collapse of the building’s upper floors in October 2019, which resulted in the deaths of three construction workers, and even called for criminal charges.

As the last rubble is cleared away and the streets are finally reopening where the partially built Hard Rock Hotel collapsed in October 2019, officials …

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According to Palmer, “The security measures in the development team’s workplace were so inadequate that people died. Allowing those developers whose negligence killed and injured members of our community to start all over again is not an option.

Yet the developers say they are “just the most recent victim” of a politician who has chosen to target them for his own gain.

The exact cause of the collapse has not yet been determined, but the developers note that an interim report from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the project’s chief engineer, James Heaslip. , for serious security breaches.

It is the engineer, the project contractors and the city’s Department of Public Safety and Permits who should bear the blame, say the developers.

Almost 20 months after the Hard Rock Hotel disaster, its main developer on Thursday urged city council not to “kill a project” by placing …

They also claim that Palmer lambasted them as part of a “smear campaign to politically capitalize on building collapse” in the service of his “election campaign towards the open seat of the general council.”

In a statement, Palmer said the lawsuit showed the developers were “not ashamed”.

She continued, “This is a frivolous lawsuit by a company that refuses to take responsibility for its actions. Unfortunately for these men, the town planning commission ruled that several provisions of the zoning law have been raped. That means they don’t just have to start over and build whatever they want. They have to go through the city process again. I’m not pitying them at all. “

The developers’ preventive lawsuit says the process leading up to the June 3 vote was fatally flawed and that a judge should order it to be overturned. The lawsuit claims that an April Town Planning Commission report cited only vague generalizations about economic damage instead of specific violations of the city’s comprehensive zoning ordinance.

The trial has been assigned to Judge Jennifer Medley. The city declined to comment.

A key supplier of materials for the Hard Rock Hotel construction project tried to warn builders that they needed more steel brackets on the upp…

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