State has to pay $5 million more for old Grand Palace Hotel

New Orleans, La. - The state of Louisiana has been ordered to pay an additional $5 million to the owners of the old Grand Palace Hotel on Canal Street.

The ruling, decided by a civil district court jury and affirmed by a court judge on Thursday, more than doubles the price that was originally offered when the property was first expropriated by LSU.  It's one of several properties taken over by the state to make room for the new University Medical Center.

Attorney Randy Smith, who represents the owners of the building at 1723 Canal Street says LSU originally offered the owners of the hotel $4.5 million dollars.  Smith says his clients are pleased with the verdict, which he called "fair compensation".

The ruling is the first of other compensation lawsuits by property owners who claim they were paid too little for their land.  Smith says there are about a dozen other lawsuits lined up over the next year.

The hotel is now gutted.  It was originally scheduled for demolition in December of 2011, but that was halted over abatement issues.  Smith says he believes plans are in the works to demolish the building sometime in June.